Qatar could lose World Cup rights hints Sepp Blatter

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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has given the first indication that the Qatar 2022 World Cup could be moved from a summer tournament to a winter one.

Blatter said a switch would only happen if the Qataris request it but added a move may prompt countries that lost out to the Gulf state to challenge the decision.

“For there to be a change to winter it is necessary that Qatar ask for it. They have not done so yet,” said Blatter.

“And they know if they do they risk another of the 2022 candidates bringing a challenge before FIFA and the vote would have to be repeated,” he added.

Blatter’s comments add to the growing concern that Qatar will be unable to combat the soaring summer temperatures during a summer tournament. The Gulf state is spending billions of dollars creating air conditioned stadiums but commentators are concerned it may not be enough.

Premier League chairman Sir David Richards, UEFA president Michel Platini and German football legend Franz Beckenbauer have all proposed the tournament is switched to winter.

Speaking at the Securing Sport conference in Doha, Richards, said earlier in the week that 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.

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: Stony Frank

Qatari - if (and it is a big IF) Qatar does get to hold the event, how will they aircondition the streets, the training pitches and the bars where the players and supporters will congregate between matches - can't really expect all of them to go to Bahrain between matches, unless the Qatar Govt. intends to lay on subsidised flights.
How is the causeway between Qatar and Bahrain progressing anyway?
I wonder how the Doha police will react to supporters from the rest of the world who will gather in nationalist crowds in public places, singing and dancing, chanting and generally having a good, innocuous time and what about the supporters who will dress as normal at the WC - eg bikini clad Brazilian ladies, mini skirted Englishwomen, squareheads in leather shorts and Scotsmen wearing skirts?
Will they be checking in sporrans for concealed weapons? What about the sgian dubhs?

Posted by: KishG

An interesting trun of events; can't wait to see the logical explanations that would be given to shift the summer world cup to a winter event

Posted by: john

Great news, common sense at last!

Posted by: Raul

Enough is enough. Millions of dollars and pounds are not paid to players to be damned drama queens and complain about the heat. If there is so much concern about the weather then start training the players in warmer climates. God knows football teams (country and clubs) get money thrown at them so get on a damned plane and have month long camps in the middle east.

Posted by: procan

@ telcoguy.... he he sometimes your comments are eye openers and sometimes you just make many of us Smile : ) thank you.

Posted by: Telcoguy

That is one possibility. The other is that they will simply refuse to comply with FIFA's requests

I am not a big soccer fan but I even I am aware that FIFA pays no one. So clubs pay a lot of money for expensive assets (players) and are therefore concerned about not having them damaged too badly. Players themselves are also concerned about not damaging themselves for obvious reasons

I can see them both aligned against FIFA pushing for this. Maybe the Qatar World Cup will be the last straw in the proverbial camel. Would not that be ironic?

Posted by: Frank Stone

Typical hispanic solution -from a bankrupt country undoubtedly.
Who will pay for the camps - FIFA?

Posted by: aaa

I hope they run the vote again.

Posted by: Rambo Stone

The World Cup is a Summer (northern hemisphere summer) competition. Now the (under the table money has had its bluff called) they want to change how the real world works - never happen. Can't understand why FIFA did not know, previous to accepting the submitted Qatar bid, that it is hot in MiddleEast in Summer.
Who will repay the insurance brokers outlay in bidding for the portfolio of insurance for the about-to-be-cancelled Qatar event?
Why not hold it in the home of the longest reigning championship-holding soccer country - Northern Ireland (over 30 consecutive years Home Championship holders - can any other country beat that?)

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