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FA warning over "impossible" Qatar World Cup

ESPN staff
August 10, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
FA chairman Greg Dyke has expressed concern over player and fan safety © PA Photos
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FA chairman Greg Dyke insists it will be "impossible" to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during summer, supporting calls for the tournament to be moved to winter.

Last month, FIFA president Sepp Blatter confirmed he plans to ask the governing body's executive committee to bring forward the World Cup in an attempt to avoid the stifling heat in the Gulf state.

The Premier League responded swiftly to Blatter's comments, claiming "the prospect of a winter World Cup is neither workable nor desirable for European domestic football".

But Dyke has suggested the Premier League's position is changing, admitting player welfare is more important than the domestic schedule..

"I don't know how many people have been to Qatar in June," Dyke said. "I have. The one thing I can tell you is you can't play a football tournament in Qatar in June.

"Even if all the stadia are air-conditioned - which seems a bit strange in terms of the green policy - it would be impossible for the fans. Just go out there, wander around in that sort of heat.

"It's genuinely becoming accepted that you can't play it in Qatar in the summer. The FA's position will be that you can't play it in summer in Qatar.

"Fifa therefore has two choices: you either move it in time or location. I suspect either ends up in some sort of litigation, but then someone should have worked that out in 2010 when it was awarded.

"I understand the reaction of the Premier League to not want to move it. I have some sympathy with them. They didn't have to choose to give it to Qatar in the summer but that's where it is. It will either have to be moved out of the summer or to another location. I suspect the former is more likely than the latter."

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed plans on Friday to gradually adjust the Bundesliga season to accommodate a winter World Cup.

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