Money In The Back Pocket For Sepp Blatter?

Last updated : 18 July 2013 By Footy Mad - Editor

sFIFA president Sepp Blatter yesterday confronted the issue of playing in the searing June heat of Qatar by stating he believed it could not take place in the summer, and that position has been backed up by the international players' union FIFPro.

The world governing body said the issue will go to FIFA's executive committee meeting on October 3 and 4.

The Premier League has long opposed any such move on the grounds it will cause major disruption to three domestic seasons - the 2021-22 season and the ones either side - as well as impacting on broadcasting contracts.

A Premier League spokesman told the Press Association: "The Premier League position remains unchanged. The prospect of a winter World Cup is neither workable nor desirable for European domestic football."

FIFA's executive committee will meet in Zurich for a decision on the issue.

The heat in Qatar was always known as an issue but in 2010 the executive committee voted overwhelmingly to give the country the 2022 tournament.

That decision came despite FIFA's inspectors giving Qatar a "high risk" rating - the only bidding country to receive that category - and to warn the heat was "a potential health risk for players, officials, the FIFA family and spectators".

Blatter has been moving towards the idea of a winter World Cup for several months. He said yesterday: "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."

FIFPro's general secretary Theo van Seggelen insisted that playing in Qatar in the summer heat is not an option on medical grounds but questioned why FIFA had chosen to go there.

He said on Twitter: "Playing football in the summer is not an option, not for players nor for the fans.

"How is it possible that, when choosing Qatar, no one has suggested this problem? Not even UEFA."

In fact, UEFA has led the calls for a move to the winter with its president Michel Platini the first senior football figure to do so, and Blatter now also looks to be on board.

A FIFA spokesman said: "As mentioned by the FIFA President yesterday, he will bring forward the matter of playing the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar in winter to the FIFA executive committee on the occasion of their next meeting scheduled for October 3 and 4, 2013.

"This matter will now be with the executive committee and we can therefore not comment further before the meeting has taken place."



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