Premier League: winter World Cup is 'not workable'

Fifa want to move the 2022 tournament in Qatar to avoid the summer heat

The Premier League today blasted proposals to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter as “neither workable nor desirable” as FIFA announced a decision on the matter will be taken in October.

FIFA 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.

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 campaign and the ones either side - as well as impacting on broadcasting contracts.

A Premier League spokesman told Press Association Sport: "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.

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."

Blatter has been moving towards the idea of a winter World Cup for several months, and 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."

FIFA confirmed a decision on the winter World Cup could be taken at October's meeting, however it is also possible that the committee may ask for more information before taking a final decision.

PA

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