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FA Cup replays face axe to aid 2022 World Cup move

ESPN staff
September 22, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
FIFA is expected to make a final decision on the 2022 World Cup on October 3 © Getty Images
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FA chief executive David Gill insists a compromise will have to be sought in order to limit the impact of moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter, which could include dropping FA Cup replays for one season.

Earlier in September, UEFA's 54 European member associations gave their support to hold the 2022 finals in winter - due to the extreme heat of Qatar's summer - and FIFA is expected to sanction the decision at a meeting in Zurich on October 3.

Gill indicated several options could be considered in order to minimise the impact of the move to a single season, with the Premier League expecting a change in date will disrupt proceedings for three seasons.

And the former Manchester United chief executive stated FA Cup replays, often a valued source of revenue for lower league clubs that draw Premier League teams, may be dropped for a season - but believes all parties will have to compromise in order to achieve a viable solution.

"The FA Cup may have to give up replays in a particular season, clubs may have to forgo a pre-season tour," Gill told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek.

"It is not ideal as the World Cup has always been in the summer. A move, if it has to be made, has to involve compromise from all parties.

"UEFA may have to move the Champions League round of 16 from its current four-week format to two weeks. If everyone goes in with that attitude then I'm sure you can come up with a solution that is acceptable to everyone."

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