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Europe football federations: 2022 World Cup in summer is “impossible”

Sep 19, 2013, 12:08 PM EST

The Al-Wakrah stadium Getty Images

It seems that with each passing day we inch closer and closer to a winter World Cup in 2022.

And the tournament is still nine years away. So strap in tight, this could be a long one.

Today European football federations agreed it would be “impossible” to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during the summer and will set up a task force to find an alternative.

After a meeting with 54 European football federations in Dubrovnik, Croatia, FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce told Sky television: “Obviously there are certain reservations regarding the World Cup in Qatar but everyone agrees that it would be impossible to play in the severe heat of Qatar in the summer.”

According the Boyce, “[All 54 countries] agree that to play the World Cup, to take thousands of fans to the biggest sporting event in the middle of summer would be impossible.”

During FIFA’s next executive committee meeting, scheduled for October 3rd, Boyce claims the 54 nations, along with representatives from Qatar, will hash out a solution.

Despite the backlash Qatar remains open to staging the tournament in the summer, promising air-conditioned stadiums using newly environmentally-friendly technology that would cool stadiums to 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

For those keeping score at home, here’s a list of where the majority of players fall when it comes the 2022 World Cup:

  • FIFA president Sepp Blatter: in favor of a winter World Cup and is organization had never specially stated that the World Cup had to be held in summer
  • UEFA president Michel Platini: in favor of holding the tournament in January and February of 2022
  • U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati: opposes voting on October 3rd, noting that it’s too early to make a sensible decision
  • Australia’s soccer chief Frank Lowy: claims non-winning 2022 bidders should be compensated if the move goes ahead to switch to a winter World Cup
  • FIFA medical committee chairman Michel D’Hooghe: says that for the health of the players and the fans, the tournament must be played in the winter
  • Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore: wants the tournament to be played in the summer, as scheduled, to prevent conflict with England’s domestic fixtures

  1. twayward - Sep 19, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Qatar cannot deliver the 2022 World Cup as advertised during their presentation. They should be disqualified as hosts IMHO. Revisit the other bids and award the 2022 World Cup to a nation(s) whose bid is based in fact not fiction.

  2. jdvalk - Sep 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    This

  3. danielofthedale - Sep 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    A World Cup that spills into Mid to late Feb. would conflict with the Winter Olympics. I know that there is no US TV contract conflicts on that with NBC and Fox having rights to one each but I would not be surprised if a any number of major tv market nations would. Then you have sponsors who crossover and might not get the full bang they were anticipating as viewed chose to view one and not the other. And the IOC itself might not have the power FIFA, but it’s not to far behind. Do FIFA really want to pick a fight with the IOC?

  4. talgrath - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Most of what happens next will be determined by TV contracts, I think. If enough of those contracts are structured to have the games in June/July then changing to a winter World Cup could cost FIFA an awful lot of money and good will. In the US, I guarantee you that FOX will not be happy if the dates change, winter is prime College and NFL football time in the US, there will be a major conflict between World Cup games and FOX’s big sports money makers if the months are changed. If a winter World Cup would hurt FIFA enough financially, I would expect to see it rejected.

  5. mdac1012 - Sep 19, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    If the same 54 European football federations could get on the same page and told FIFA, move the WC or else, it would force FIFA’s hand. They are not going to hold the WC without any European teams.

    If FIFA called their bluff, they should simply declare they will hold their own tournament, and invite other nations outside of Europe to participate. They would have 9 yrs to figure out the logistics.

    It might be a little far fetched for them to do this but I think playing hardball and drawing a line in the sand with FIFA is the only way to resolve the matter.

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