CONCACAF backs winter World Cup for Qatar

| 24/02/2015 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The proposal by a special FIFA task force to move the 2022 World Cup to the end of the year has the support of CONCACAF, officials from the regional football body have confirmed. The task force met in the Qatar capital, Doha, Tuesday to discuss the issues surrounding the tournament there following concerns that a July/August event would endanger the health of players and fans. Summer temperatures in the region can exceed 110°F.

The task force has recommended moving the tournament back to November and December, when temperatures will be considerably cooler. The decision to move the football tournament from his traditional slot is expected to be ratified in Switzerland next month after a review by FIFA’s Executive Committee.

“Considering the welfare of our players and fans as the main priority, CONCACAF fully supports the recommendation made by the special task force to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar in the November-December timeframe,” CONCACAF said Tuesday in a statement. CONCACAF Joins the five other associations that are said to be supporting the move. Although UEFA has offered its backing, the European national associations are certainly not as enthusiastic as a winter tournament will seriously disrupt their club football leagues.

The Qatar task force chief, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, has also suggested that the 2022 tournament should be shortened by a few days but FIFA has said it will not cut matches. “We are very pleased that, after careful consideration of the various opinions and detailed discussions with all stakeholders, we have identified what we believe to be the best solution for the 2018-2024 international match calendar and football in general.”

Amid speculation that the tournament could start on 26 November and end on 23 December, concerns have been raised about a final so close to Christmas Eve. FIFA Vice-president Jim Boyce said moving the World Cup to the winter was “common sense” but that a final on 23 December would be too close to Christmas and Britain’s own traditional festive matches.

Despite the formal support at the top international administrative level, there has been considerable opposition to the proposal as it will cause havoc for fixture calendars in an estimated 50 countries.

The decision to award Qatar with the games remains controversial, dogged by allegations of corruption and the abuse of migrant workers building the stadiums. The timetable change compounds the controversy as well as the divide in the sports world over the host nation. With the timing of the 2022 World Cup causing trouble for the world’s richest leagues, the European clubs will now be seeking compensation for the disruption caused.

The UK’s football boss Greg Dyke has said the best option would be to move the World Cup from Qatar but that November-December was “the best of the bad options”.

“I have said from the start we cannot possibly play in the summer in Qatar; it would be ridiculous to play then,” Dyke, said. “The best option would be to not hold it in Qatar, but we are now beyond that so November/December would seem to be the best of the bad options. It will clearly disrupt the whole football calendar as it means club football stopping at the end of October.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well the CONCACAF heads approved Quatar as the venue with documented bribes to help persuade them, so is this further support surprising?. A winter timetable will cause immense problems for all the European club sides and Sepp Blatter should resign and emigrate to Quatar so that a new venue can be founfd right away.

  2. Anonymous says:

    CONCACAF rubber stamps anything that Blatter says.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is a joke. Why elect to hold the world cup in a country that just isn’t suitable for a tournament like this during the summer time? It is all for political reasons and most likely for someone having their pockets lined.

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