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Thursday, 12 December 2019

Blatter backs winter World Cup in Qatar

FIFA president has said he would support moves to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during the winter months, but warned that such an action would be difficult to implement

AFP, Friday 17 Dec 2010
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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said he would support moves to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during the winter months, but warned that such an action would be difficult to implement.
Fears that the searing heat that prevails in the Gulf emirate in the traditional World Cup months of June and July would make it dangerous for players and fans alike, quickly followed FIFA's decision to award the 2022 tournament to Qatar,
German legend Franz Beckenbauer, a FIFA executive committee member, and FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke are among those who have voiced support for a switch of dates.
Blatter told a press conference in Abu Dhabi where the club World Cup is taking place that he too supported a winter World Cup.
"It is important to play when the climate is appropriate and I'm thinking about the footballers, not only the fans but the actors," he said.
"Personally I think it would be better that it is played in the winter ... but it's not easy to realise."
Blatter, however, said he had no regrets over the vote earlier this month which saw Qatar defeat rival bids from United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
"The basic principle signed is about 64 matches in Qatar in the months of June and July, that's what we have at the moment," he said.
"If Qatar wants a change, the demand must come from Qatar and send later to FIFA. All the countries (in the zone) are happy and proud for the Middle East and Gulf."
The change would have major implications for domestic competitions in Britain and the rest of Europe where the league programmes would be in full swing.

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