WORLD governing body Fifa has stoked its row with European clubs over switching the Qatar 2022 World Cup from summer to winter, insisting they will not be compensated for disruption to their schedules.
Confirming that 23 December was the likely date for the final and that the tournament would be reduced in duration from 32 to 28 days, general secretary Jerome Valcke rejected concerns raised by the Premier League and European Club Association (ECA).
“There will be no compensation,” Valcke said. “They have seven years to reorganise football around the world for this World Cup. It’s not perfect, we know that, but why are we talking about compensation? It’s happening once, we’re not destroying football.”
ECA chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge led calls for clubs to be compensated when Fifa’s task-force issued its recommendation that the event move to winter this week, while Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore refused to rule out legal action unless there was further discussion over dates.
Clubs already receive a small share of Fifa’s World Cup revenues for the use of their contracted players, which totalled £45m for the most recent tournament in Brazil last year. Valcke added: “Why should we apologise to the clubs? We have had an agreement with the clubs that they are part of the beneficiaries.”
Valcke deflected criticism by indicating that the suggestion of 23 December as the final date came from European governing body Uefa, and attempted to address concerns over the welfare of immigrant construction workers involved in building Qatar’s World Cup infrastructure.
“We use the World Cup as a way to change a country,” he said. “If the standard for all construction sites in Qatar reach the level of standard we have for all the specific World Cup construction site, then a big step will be made in the country for this working conditions.”