DUBAI: UEFA president Michel Platini renewed his call yesterday for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be switched to the winter to avoid the crushing heat of a Gulf summer and shared with neighbouring countries.
A winter tournament would be “good for everyone” -- organisers, spectators and the media, the head of European football’s governing body told the Dubai International Sports Conference, which was attended by big profile names in football, including Argentina’s Diego Maradona, Real Madrid Jose Mourinho and former England manager Fabio Capello.
“It would be a good thing” if the tournament were shared with neighbouring Gulf states, Platini added, recalling that he had nonetheless backed Qatar’s bid to host it.
Qatar has undertaken to air-condition all of the stadiums for 2022, but there has been criticism of the cost and environmental impact, as well as of the outdoor temperatures facing travelling fans which Platini has warned could reach 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit).
The UEFA chief has previously called for the tournament to be played between November and December 2022, to avoid a clash with the January 2022 Winter Olympics, but that has raised issues with big European clubs as it clashes with their domestic seasons.
But that has raised issues with big European clubs as it clashes with their domestic seasons.
With Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, it means that it will be the first time the prestigous event will be held in the Middle East.
In the bidding process, Qatar beat United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia in December 2010. AFP