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World Cup in Qatar 'impossible' in summer, says FA chairman Greg Dyke




World Cup in Qatar 'impossible' in summer, says FA chairman Greg Dyke


A summer World Cup in Qatar in 2022 would be "impossible", says Football Association chairman Greg Dyke.


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 organising 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 told BBC Sport in a statement: "It was the right decision to award the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time in 2022.


"We are ready to host in summer or winter. We have always maintained that this issue requires the agreement of the international football community. 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 organisation 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 organisers 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.


"The bid was for the World Cup to be played in June and July, and for it then to be moved to the winter would be fundamentally flawed," he said. "If people want it in the winter, they should bid for it on that basis."


Dyke, though, believes a move is inevitable, and suspects there is likely to be legal action as a result. The 66-year-old, who has visited Qatar in June, added: "Fifa have therefore got two choices. They can move it either time-wise or to another location. I suspect either will end 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 in not wanting to move it, and I have some sympathy with them. We didn't have to choose to give it to Qatar in the summer. But that's where it is, and I think it will either have to be moved out of the summer or moved to another location. I suspect that the former is more likely than the latter."



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World Cup 2022: Fifa taskforce to seek new dates for tournament


Fifa has agreed to set up a taskforce to look into alternative dates for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.


But a final decision on when the tournament could be played will not take place before the 2014 World Cup.


Fears that Qatar's hot summer temperatures could pose a heath risk to players and fans forced football's world governing body to act.


The taskforce will consult with medical experts, broadcasters, sponsors and influential European leagues.


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZi_DnOjBT4]BBC News - Qatar 2022 World Cup: Fifa to announce 'no threat' to host - YouTube[/ame]


"We need to carry out very deep consultations and investigations and show some diplomacy and wisdom," said Fifa president Sepp Blatter.


At the climax of a two-day meeting in Zurich, Blatter also confirmed Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa would head the taskforce.


The BBC understands that Fifa is considering inviting English Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore to be a member of the working group.


He has been an outspoken opponent of plans to stage a World Cup in the northern hemisphere winter, claiming it would lead to disruption in many domestic leagues.


The name of FA general secretary Alex Horne has also been mooted but sources say the final composition will be subject to agreement by Fifa's executive committee.


Qatar was awarded the World Cup in December 2010, beating Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States in a vote.


The Gulf state planned to combat the fierce heat, with temperatures rising to in excess of 40C, by building air-conditioned stadiums.


But concerns remained, prompting Blatter to announce in July this year that the World Cup should be switched to a cooler time of the year, away from Qatar's summer months of June and July.


There have also been calls to strip the desert nation of the right to stage the World Cup completely and run the vote again.


But Blatter insisted: "The Fifa World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar. There you have it."


Qatar has also come under scrutiny after a British newspaper published a report that accused the country of abusing the rights of migrant workers.


Blatter said Fifa could not get involved in labour issues in any country but added that his organisation "cannot ignore" the allegations.


"I express all my sympathy and regret for anything that happens in any country where there are deaths on construction sites, especially when they are related to a World Cup," he told a news conference.


Hassan Al Thawadi, head of Qatar's organising committee, has already said the Gulf state was addressing concerns.


"It's not a World Cup being built on the blood of innocents," he said. "That is unacceptable to anybody. We will be eradicating these issues."


Prior to Friday's announcement, Harold Mayne-Nicholls, the head of the Fifa inspection team that assessed Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid, thought the tournament should be moved to January and February, when temperatures in the Gulf state average about 22C.


However, that could lead to a potential clash with other big sporting events, notably the Winter Olympics and American football's Super Bowl, as well as domestic football leagues and the Champions League.


New International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has said he is confident there will be no clash with the Winter Olympics.


American TV network Fox, World Cup rights-holder for North America, is understood to be concerned over the commercial implications of any move that would see the World Cup clash with the NFL season.

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Is Blatter trying to wait to delay the announcement until after he has retired?


It will be nice for Qutar, all those lovely stadiums to have sitting around looking lovely and unused after the games in 2022, after-all they are a massive footballing nation :P

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bought by Qatar for the 2022 WC. If they play it in the winter at least it won't melt


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>The Zidane statue.... Falls under 'happenings in the world of sport you won't want to have to explain to your kids' <a href="http://t.co/yflT608Cg1">pic.twitter.com/yflT608Cg1</a></p>— Georgie Bingham (@georgiebingham) <a href="https://twitter.com/georgiebingham/statuses/386763660489531392">October 6, 2013</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

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