LONDON: Manchester United manager David Moyes has insisted he has no problems with the idea of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being played in the European winter, even though this would cut across the Premier League season.
Speculation is continuing that FIFA, football’s world governing body, who have been holding an executive committee meeting this week at their Zurich headquarters, will eventually reschedule the tournament due to high summer temperatures in Qatar.
“It would need to alter things maybe in the year before and the year after and I think there will be no choice that it will have to move,” Moyes speaking at a news conference in Manchester yesterday, said.
“But I’m sure the Premier League are already working on that and thinking about it but it does look as if it (the World Cup) will have to be changed. If it was played in the month of January it could be the equivalent of having a winter break (something that doesn’t currently exist in English football but which is common in other major European league) so if they took that month out it would extend things and there would be lots of different add-ons.
“It’s the World Cup -- it will have to be played and the people in power will try to make the right decisions.”
The Scot added changes to the League Cup, long regarded by leading clubs as the least important of England’s three major domestic competitions behind the Premier League and FA Cup, might be needed in order to accommodate a winter World Cup.
“I think there would be no choice that it would have to move,” said Moyes. “Maybe you’ll need to get rid of FA Cup replays and limit the League Cup, maybe something along those lines.”
Arsenal coach, Arsene Wenger said the club will accept the FA’s decision on the issue of the World Cup, and admits it is good idea to play in the winter.
“Arsenal will do what English football decides,” said Wenger. “Of course we want to adapt to the behaviour of English football,” the Frenchman told Arsenal.com.
He added: “To me it looks reasonable to play in the winter because the only thing that matters is the safety of the supporters who go there and attend the games. The players can cope with the heat because they are prepared. They will be in great condition.”
However, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said the question of when to stage the 2022 World Cup was one he couldn’t answer at this time.
“It is too far (into the future) for me,” he told reporters at the London club’s training ground yesterday.
“I hope at that time I am working in top football. I hope in that time I am a club manager and not an international manager.
“But during that time we will think about it,” added the Portuguese, who then jokingly suggested climate change could be a factor.
“The weather is changing a lot so maybe when we come to Qatar the summer is in December and in June it is cold!”
FIFA will defer any decision on a switch from summer to winter until after next year’s World Cup.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter confirmed that move on his twitter page, writing: “The ExCo decided to launch a consultation process among main stakeholders for Qatar 2022 dates. No decision will be taken before