Qatar 2022 should be moved, says Premier League boss

Richard Scudamore says World Cup should be moved to another country if Qatar cannot host summer event
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.
By Reuters
Mon 29 Jul 2013 01:34 PM

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has said that if the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 cannot be held in the summer, it should be moved to another country.

Speaking at the Premier League Asian Trophy in Hong Kong, and quoted in Monday's British newspapers, he expressed his worries that the 2022 World Cup will be moved from the European summer to winter months because of the intense heat in Qatar, thus disrupting his league.

Earlier this month, FIFA Sepp Blatter reiterated his concerns over a summer World Cup saying it should be moved to the winter with the FIFA executive committee meeting to discuss the issue in October.

Scudamore is totally opposed to the idea.

"I'm not going to say I think it will happen because I'm still working the best I can, garnering enough support, a groundswell of support, to make sure it doesn't happen in winter.

"We do want to have it in summer - the summer is the right time.

"If Qatar is unable to hold a proper tournament in the summer for fans then it should be put on somewhere else is my simple view."

Qatar beat Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States in a vote to host soccer's showpiece in the summer.

Qatar's bid involved building a number of air conditioned stadiums to tackle the searing temperatures and the tiny gulf state has long said they were ready to host the World Cup in winter if required.

Scudamore suggested moving the tournament.

"My view is if you can't actually meet the criteria of looking after the fans, if that is what Mr Blatter is now saying, then you should take it somewhere else where they can look after the fans," Scudamore said.

"When the technical bid book went in, it had to go through everything, like fan experience. The idea the technical committee did not know people were going to be exposed to that heat is crazy. If Mr Blatter says it is not right for the fans he should move it.

"The world has a calendar that's geared around finding those two months every four years in the summer to have the World Cup," he said. "To alter it to a different time of year messes up everybody's calendar, not just ours."

Scudamore said it was too early for the Premier League or other FA's or Leagues to consider legal action but did not rule it out.

"That's something that is far too contentious really. It's not a very edifying prospect is it? Taking on FIFA, the world governing body. At the end of the day we'll do our lobbying, our work, but it's far too premature to think of legal action."

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