FA warns about summer World Cup in Qatar

FA warns about summer World Cup in Qatar
Sat Aug 10, 2013 08:55:21

Football Association (FA) Chairman Greg Dyke has described a summer World Cup in Qatar in 2022 as "impossible".

Dyke, who took up his FA role last month, thinks the tournament is likely to move to winter because of the heat.

The Premier League opposes a change of dates, while Dyke's predecessor David Bernstein said in June that any switch would be "fundamentally flawed".

But Qatar's World Cup organizing committee says it is ready to host the tournament in summer.

"Even if all the stadia are air-conditioned, I think it will be impossible for the fans," Dyke said.

"Just go out there and wander around in that sort of heat. I just don't think it's possible”.

"My position, and I suspect the FA's position, will be: 'You can't play it in the summer.'"

The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said in a statement: "It was the right decision to award the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time in 2022.”

"A decision to alter the dates of the 2022 FIFA World Cup would not affect our infrastructure planning."

The Premier League is understood to be surprised and disappointed by Dyke's comments, as it wishes to join forces with the FA in opposing a change of date.

Richard Scudamore, the Premier League chief executive, said in July that switching the Qatar World Cup to winter would cause chaos for football leagues around the world.

His organization believes such a change would have an impact on the three domestic seasons around the tournament - most notably 2021-22 - affecting broadcast deals and requiring every player's contract to be rewritten.

In 2010 Qatar defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States to be awarded the 2022 World Cup.

The bid has been plagued by allegations of corruption, although organizers have always insisted they did nothing wrong.

Temperatures in the Middle East state can reach 50C in the summer, and FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke admitted in March that the tournament might be moved.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in May it was "not rational" to play in such heat.

But shortly before stepping down as FA chairman, Bernstein said there should be no change.