Switch 2022 World Cup to winter 'nigh-on impossible' says Premier League chief

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Richard Scudamore says logistics are extremely difficult

Switching the 2022 World Cup to the winter would be “nigh-on impossible” according to Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

Qatar was chosen to host the tournament back in December 2010 but concerns have been raised about summer temperatures in the Middle East state, which can exceed 50 degrees, prompting talk of switching the tournament away from its usual June-July slot to a possible January or February start.

Such a move would obviously have logistical implications for domestic club football around the globe, and Scudamore said today at the launch of the new Barclays Premier League season: "At the end of the day, FIFA made a decision which is for none of us to comment on. They decided the World Cup will be in the summer in Qatar.

"Our view is, if that is deemed not possible by FIFA, they need to move the location. We can't just, on a whim, decide to move to the winter.

"It's extremely difficult, nigh-on impossible in our view."

The new Football Association chairman, Greg Dyke, said last week that if the tournament was to remain in Qatar it would have to be played in the winter, while last Sunday FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce gave a strong indication that a winter switch could be on the cards.

While Boyce was keen to stress the issue had not been officially discussed by FIFA's executive committee, he said his personal preference was for a tournament which ran between January 6 and February 9, 2022.

Were that to play out, the Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup would all be affected, and Scudamore wants a thorough consultation to take place.

"Where they award the World Cup to is a FIFA executive committee decision and not our business," he told Sky Sports News.

"But the international football calendar has to be consulted, FIFA can't just decide.

"There's a whole series of complications and consultation has to be separate with leagues on a global basis, to make sure it works for everyone before a decision is made."

PA

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