Font Size

- Aa +

Mon 7 Feb 2011 04:50 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Adidas CEO backs summer 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Move to winter would clash with sports schedules, European football, says Herbert Hainer

Adidas CEO backs summer 2022 World Cup in Qatar
Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer says the 2022 World Cup should be held in the summer

Sportswear company Adidas has waded into the row over the Qatar
2022 World Cup after CEO Herbert Hainer warned any move to reschedule the games would clash
with the winter sports season.

"Those in winter sports would not be happy if, during
winter sports season, soccer would be played for four weeks," Hainer told
a German television station.

Qatar last month beat the US, Australia, Japan and South
Korea to win rights to the event, which is usually held in June and July.

The decision by ruling body FIFA has raised concerns as to
how players and fans will cope in the Gulf state’s stifling summer heat, which can
top 50C.

A string of high profile names, including FIFA president
Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini, have called for the 32-team
tournament by moved to the winter to avoid the heat.

However, a winter World Cup would leave leagues like those
in England, Spain and Italy facing a mid-season break of about 60 days to
accommodate the tournament. It would also affect the timing of the season
before and after the competition.

The coach of the German football team, Joachim Loew, said that
any rescheduling of the games would be bad for European fans.

"At the World Cup in 2006, the European Championships
in 2008 and the World Cup in 2010, there were millions on the streets ... if
the World Cup in 2022 takes place in winter, no fan is going to be on the
street if it's minus five degrees," Germany coach Joachim Loew said in an
interview with Sport Bild.

Loew’s concerns were echoed by Barcelona president Sandro
Rosell, who said a January/February event would disrupt the Spanish season.

"I have to stand up for the Spanish league. The World
Cup has to be in June, July," he said. "I don't like to break the
Spanish league because it's one of the leagues in Europe that continues in
January."

Asian Soccer Federation president Mohammed Bin Hamman, a
Qatari, has said the games must stay on schedule and that Qatar has adequate
plans to avoid the heat.

"I believe our country has submitted a bid where they
would like to organise and host the World Cup in June/July and they have presented
also the solution for the heat challenges," he said.

"[Qatar]  is ready and willing to host a
very comfortable World Cup in the summer season."

For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.