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Green light: Top clubs set to OK Qatar 2022 switch

Published: Updated:

Top football clubs in Europe are preparing to accept a proposed switch in the 2022 Qatar World Cup from summer to winter, reported Arabian Business.

The alteration comes with a caveat that the change is a one-off.

The European Clubs’ Association (ECA) is scheduled to meet on Tuesday in Switzerland for talks over moving the tournament, due to extreme temperatures in the Gulf state.

Moving the event to the winter would be disruptive to Europe’s domestic football leagues, which have a hectic playing schedule at that time.

“I have a personal opinion that it is almost inevitable. We will have to find a solution because it is very unlikely that you can play the World Cup in Qatar in the summer,” Arabian Business quoted ECA Senior Vice President Umberto Gandini who told Press Association Sport.

“I think it’s important it’s going to be a one-off and is not going to something that’s going to be there forever,” he stated.

Temperatures in the Gulf state soar up to 50 degrees Celsius, making it “impossible” for fans to follow the games.

“Now it is a matter of studying the possible solutions and we will have to do it,” said Gandini.

In an interview published on Monday, FIFA president Blatter defended his decision that the tournament should be played in the winter when it is held in the Gulf state.

On making mistakes Blatter said: “it may well be that we made a mistake at the time. On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political realities.”

He added that while the switch would inconvenience the major European leagues, it was “high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world anymore, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will on to others in faraway places.”

Concerning the recommended dates for the football tournament, Blatter impressed upon listeners that the dates are not fixed.

“It does not say that it ‘must’ take place in these months, nor is it a ‘condition sine qua non’ to host the World Cup in June and July. What the document does is express FIFA’s wish to host the World Cup in June or July,” he said.