Premier League boss backs winter World Cup in Qatar

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Premier League chairman, Sir David Richards, said it would make “common sense” for the Qatar 2022 World Cup to be switched from a summer tournament to a winter one

Premier League chairman, Sir David Richards, said it would make “common sense” for the Qatar 2022 World Cup to be switched from a summer tournament to a winter one

Premier League chairman, Sir David Richards, said it would make “common sense” for the Qatar 2022 World Cup to be switched from a summer tournament to a winter one, promoting his management to issue a statement contradicting the position of its own chairman.

Speaking at the Securing Sport conference in Doha, the outgoing chairman said while there are currently no plans to switch to the tournament to a winter event, he hoped there would be some compromise in the future.

“At the moment it has a tremendous amount of implications for Europe. For us, at this minute, the answer is ‘no’. But, if we take a proper view, we have to find a way to have a winter spell where we don’t play and I think common sense will prevail," said Richards.

“We’ve got FIFA now saying that medical people are saying that they can't play in Qatar in the summer because of the heat, which is probably right. Over the next few years, things will change and they will come to a compromise,” he said.

Not for the first time, the Premier League was forced to release a statement opposing its chairman.

“The Premier League’s view remains unchanged. We are opposed to the concept of a winter World Cup for very obvious practical reasons that would impact on all of European domestic football,” a spokesperson said.

Debate over whether Qatar should stick to the traditional slot of June for a World Cup or consider a shift to the winter months has been ongoing ever since the Gulf state became the surprise winner of a December 2010 FIFA vote to choose the 2022 host country.

Last week FIFA’s medical, Michel D'Hooghe, weighed in on the argument, saying he was concerned about the impact soaring summer temperatures would have on the players.

“Personally, I think it would be a good thing if we could play this World Cup in better temperatures than in full summer in Qatar,” he said.

Moving the tournament would meet with fierce resistance from European leagues who fear the impact on their broadcasting and commercial deals and clubs would be reluctant to release players.

Countries that lost out to Qatar, including the US and Australia, could also look to challenge the move in the courts.

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Posted by: B Robson

It makes perfect sense to host it in the winter, for the players, supporters, etc. Also Qatar wont be the first or last hot country to bid for the World Cup.

Allowing the choice of a winter world cup would allow other hot countries to bid. Also European football needs to shutdown in the winter due to the weather. Games are always getting cancelled in the UK due to the winter weather and then more pressure is applied to the teams because they have to replay postponed matches midweek.

Some European countries already shut down for 4 weeks in the winter. Also would stop players in the winter wearing gloves, hats, long jones under their kit to stay warm during winter games.

I am sure the players would rather play on in June and take a long winter break, than the current system.

We are in the 21st century, football needs to move with the times, we need technology and changes, football is no longer in the 1930's.

Posted by: King Kong

No one says that there is a need to change to winter. Only that Platini keeps saying it. Even Qatar keeps to say that they can overcome the heat problem with air-conditioning systems. So, why this Platini keeps calling for a change? Would Mr Platini stop calling for a change and let the case settle? Read the news from Qatar or Saudi Arabia today.

Posted by: procan

Let the courts decide. Is Qatar capable of air conditioning the stadiums and other fan gathering areas. If not, Oz or, UAofA , would be a excellent alternate. Also with a third of the expat population being deported will all the venues be sold out? And who will build them. Is the technology GCC or EU , USA ,will GCC allow Europeans and USA full control over there technology. How will Qatar world Cup games be successful with out a foreign presence. With the growing disdain of foreigners in the GCC by 2022 will they even be welcome .Given the cultural behavior they enjoy so much in the homelands.Will World Wide TV revenues be effected by Winter Games. Will there be a western fan backlash to the GCC. May they share rooms together. Will religious people stay clear of fans having fun the way they do : )With respect

Posted by: procan

Bring on the lawyers. Australia and USA have armies of them .

Posted by: Qatari

Number of the lawyers doesn't give them the right to host. I thought you knew better.

Posted by: JPC

@Qatari - good point. Would love to hear what the people/officials in Qatar have to say about everything from speculation around winning the bid to the idea of a winter world cup.

Posted by: Qatari

Yet no Qatari official has asked for winter World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

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