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Wed 24 Jul 2013 11:26 AM

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European football association backs Qatar winter World Cup

European Club Association boss adds to growing chorus of support for moving Cup from summer

European football association backs Qatar winter World Cup
ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. (Getty Images)

The head of the European Club Association, which represents more than 200 football clubs, has said he supports moving the Qatar World Cup to winter.

ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s comments add to a growing chorus of support for moving the 2022 tournament from summer, when temperatures in Qatar can reach 50 degrees.

President of the world football governing body FIFA, Sepp Blatter, said last week he would officially ask the FIFA executive committee to change the timing of the event because hosting it in the searing heat would not be "rational and reasonable".

Rummenigge told the Inside World Football website hosting the event in June-July was “a non-starter”.

Britain's FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce also added a one-off winter World Cup was the best option.

"No doubt about it. It is good to hear if FIFA agrees on playing the 2022 World Cup during the winter," he was quoted as saying.

"A tournament during the summer is not feasible.

"Of course, you'd then have to come to an understanding about an arrangement for the scheduling of the domestic leagues with the associations, leagues and clubs for that year."

German Football League CEO Andreas Rettig also was quoted as supporting the idea.

The league would only welcome a winter World Cup in Qatar," he said.

However, the English Premier League remains opposed to a winter World Cup, which it says would disrupt not only the 2022 league tournament but the seasons before and after.

Qatar is building air-conditioned stadiums for the games. However, Blatter said protecting the players and spectators from the heat was only part of the issue.

"The World Cup is more than just stadiums, it's an array of social and cultural activities around the competition," Blatter said.

Qatar has not asked to move the tournament to winter and any change could open up legal cases from any of the countries that lost the bid to host the World Cup – the US, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

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