Winter Olympics eyes FIFA talks to avoid 2022 World Cup clash

Both events will be scheduled in the same season if Qatar moves the tournament to a winter date

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it is “confident” FIFA will discuss with it possible plans to move the Qatar 2022 World Cup to a winter date, in order to make sure the football event does not clash with its 2022 Winter Games, a spokesperson told Arabian Business.

Qatar was awarded the hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in 2010, but concerns about temperatures soaring to 50 degrees Celsius have plagued the Gulf state’s win and FIFA boss Sepp Blatter has admitted it was a mistake to allow the event to be held in Qatar’s summer.

FIFA is due to vote on whether to move the tournament to winter at its next meeting in October but is facing stiff opposition from football chiefs around the world.

“We were aware that FIFA might consider changing the dates for the 2022 World Cup,” and IOC spokesperson said. “We are confident that FIFA will discuss the dates with us so as to coordinate them and avoid any effect on the Winter Games.”

Earlier this month, John Blavo, a Football Association-registered lawyer and founder of the London-based Blavo & Co firm, said it was unlikely legal action would be lodged against plans to move the World Cup to a winter date and a commercial settlement was the most likely outcome.

“I think there might be more of a commercial decision in the end. The legal issue would be to do with legislative expectation of sponsors and partners who might want to advertise their brands in the summer rather than the winter.

“You have lots of players who play in UEFA [Union of European Football Associations] so there is going to be possible compensation and if they do someone has to pick the tab up and it is likely to be Qatar,” he said.

Any move to shift the event to the winter would be disruptive to Europe’s domestic football leagues, which typically have a hectic playing schedule around that time.

Blavo, who has worked with clubs, footballers and football associations for nearly a decade, said the move to a winter date would also clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics, which may cause issues for the IOC and its commercial sponsors.

“In terms also other associations, the Olympics they can make a case for it as they have a Winter Olympics at the same time. If certain brands are sponsoring both it will be a big legal hurdle."

In most cases, Blavo said FIFA, the Olympics, UEFA and the football club associations would all be dealing with the same set of global sponsors and are likely to be able to thrash out a commercial solution before it gets to a courtroom.

“They might come to an arrangement but what you can’t stop is other people feeling aggrieved and they would have a strong legal argument... If it becomes a legal issue it is going to cost a lot of money and they would have a very good standing to do so.”

The head of the Australian football association has said it would seek compensation from world governing body FIFA if the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is switched to winter. However, a FIFA spokeswoman said there were no legal grounds for compensation.

The IOC will award the hosting rights for the 2022 Winter Games at a meeting in Russia in July 2015 and the deadline for applicants to submit bids is November this year.

Despite the ongoing debate over the matter, Qatar has maintained it can host the 2022 World Cup in summer. "We bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in summer and are fully committed and working hard to deliver on these promises," the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said in a statement at the weekend.

"If the international football community asks us to move the timetable for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar we are able to do so, but the development and implementation of environmentally-friendly cooling technologies remains an important legacy issue for our nation, region and many countries with similar climates."

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Posted by: Annon

Their small number of population might be the reason, haven't you thought about that? I actually know a couple of nationals working for Diar and Barwa overseas.

Posted by: Paul

I am now speculating, I am writing facts as I lived there many years!
Both Qatari Diar and Barwa cannot classify as non-qatari private sector. They are real estate organizations, part of the Qatari Government!
Qatari Diar is a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority and Barwa's 45% of shares are held by Qatari Diar.

Yes the country is young, there is an emerging young generation getting education but once they complete it, they join the public sector, in dummy jobs. They never get the chance to learn by experience and you have many qataris in their mid 30's as CEO's and Managing directors with very little or none professional exposure to real business, not to mention to the international professional scene.
These qataris cant and wouldnt be able to compete in the international arena.

Posted by: Paul

My comment below got somehow trimmed.
The trimmed parts should read as following:
"As you probably know, they jump from graduation day to CEO post in very short time periods.
How many Qataris you know who are working in the private sector overseas? Or even in Qatar?
Or how many you know that actually developed any product or technology?"

Posted by: Paul

I am sorry Annon, but I really don?t know how to put it in a more politically correct manner.
The fact is that Qatar is a very young country with a very young educated generation who cannot compete with the international market as they have very limited or no chances to acquire practical knowledge with practical experience.
As you probably know, they jump from graduation day to CEO post in very many Qatari working in the private sector overseas?
Actually developing any product or technology? I don?t mean to spoil the party but we have to be accurate: the actual situation on the ground (you must know to comment) does not match what it is crafted in some reports.
In Qatar all is imported, particularly technology!

Posted by: King Kong

If I were the Qatar organizing committee head, I will simply tell FIFA that Qatar will not move to winter to cause the world into chaos. It is because that Qatar has the technology to overcome the heat as stated in the bidding document. Also, FIFA cannot remove the already given to Qatar's holding right because FIFA knew early on about the high risk. Not until 2022, no one knows what will happen because it is just high risk. If in that year, the air temperature becomes moving towards the low end of the climatic statistics, then everything will be okay.

If Qatar does not do the above they admitted in silence that they were lying about their technology in the bidding document.

Posted by: Paul

Who is actually developing that so mysterious "environmentally-friendly cooling technologies"?
Qatar is not for sure as all technologies they have there are imported!
No Qatari is able to develop or produce any technology. Those who actually do some work are mainly occupying top management positions with no skills or experience!

Posted by: Annon

Yes because stereotypes is perfect way for judging people ! Go Paul !

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