Global chaos warning over winter Qatar World Cup plans

Frank Dalleres
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CONTROVERSIAL proposals to move football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar from summer to winter would cause “a huge issue” for every country on the planet, leading officials warned yesterday.

Premier League chiefs have made their opposition to the mooted change clear, while Sunil Gulati, the president of the US Soccer Federation and a member of world governing body Fifa’s executive committee, said it would have global repercussions.

“This isn’t just a question of a few leagues in Europe,” he told the Leaders In Football conference in London. “There are a whole bunch of countries in the world that have leagues that are their backbone, and in some cases there are play-offs in November or December. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible, but they have to be considered along with the Premier League’s problems.”

Fifa announced last week it plans to hold a consultation process over the possible switch, proposed on the grounds that Qatar is too hot during the summer.

“We have to discuss in a very detailed fashion this thing before taking a decision,” said Decio De Maria, president of Mexico’s top flight Liga MX. “For every country in the world I think its going to be a huge issue. Mostly summer is for national teams and the rest of the year for clubs. If that is going to change it will mean cost, problems and different things to sort.”

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said it was “certain” that Qatar would not stage the 2022 tournament in summer, “and we should all welcome that”.