Doha / QATAR: Debate is going on across Europe as whether Qatar’s winning bid was based on the quadrennial tournament taking the traditional summer slot. But nobody seems to want this scenario to take shape.
Doha – The City which is going to host 2022 FIFA World Cup in Winter time
Qatar won the rights to stage the tournament in December 2010, but there hasn’t been much consensus or clarification on any aspect of the tournament since. But FIFA President Sepp Blatter, after months of promoting the idea of a summer tournament, is now adamant to switch it to a cooler time of the year.
Whilst the 2022 Supreme Committee don’t have any problem with switching the event to winter, they are still focusing a lot of research and development towards air-conditioned stadia and social areas.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter
This change of plan would require some major European leagues implementing a winter break which has drawn the ire of some who have called into question the legitimacy of Qatar’s bid should the tournament be moved to the winter months.
The topic is hugely divisive, with the English Premier League claiming that any switch would disrupt the calendar for both that season and the ones before and after, and also affect broadcast contracts.
The Chief Executive Bundesliga, Christian Seifert, warned recently that any such move could result in a legal challenge from the affected European leagues to force a re-vote.
Blatter, however, remains unperturbed and continues to insist that a move to winter is the most likely scenario when he brings up the issue with FIFA’s executive committee. Speaking during a two-day conference on sports, media and economy set up by German great Franz Beckenbauer in Austria, Blatter said: “If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can’t play football in the summer.
“You can cool down the stadiums but you can’t cool down the whole country. There is still enough time. I will bring this up to the executive committee.”
Chairman of the European Clubs Association, Karl-Heinz Rumminigge, who is also the CEO of Bayern Munich has said that staging the World Cup in June and July is a non-starter and his organisation would be behind a switch to winter.
Sources: FIFA, Reuters, The Peninsula, Gulf Times, Caye Global News
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