EPFL Confident of Involvement in FIFA’s Qatar 2022 Discussions

October 30, 2013

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) are confident they will be involved in FIFA’s discussions over the possibility of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to take place in winter. 

EPFL President Frederic Thiriez said: “I am confident that FIFA’s process will be transparent, honest and reasonable.”

At a meeting of FIFA’s executive committee that took place earlier this month, the decision on changing the dates of the 2022 World Cup was delayed and a consultation process was established to determine when it should be held.

Thiriez added: “And we thank FIFA for this.”

“We did not want FIFA to make a series of hasty decisions. Because it could have an impact on our national leagues but also on amateur football, which is, let’s not forget this, our reservoir of players and fans.

“There are also possible consequences for the TV (companies) who are our partners. You don’t take that kind of decision without weighing the consequences. The World Cup is in 2022, we are in 2013, there is no rush.”

Qatar has proved a controversial choice of host nation, with many expressing concern about the extreme heat in summer and the potential health effects on players and spectators.

EPFL vice-president Frank Rutten said: “What strikes us a bit is that some people act surprised that it’s warm in the summer in Qatar while in fact everybody making the decision knew that at the time (they voted).

“A lot of us have the feeling that the rules have been changed while the match had already started. It is a bit strange if you decide afterwards a new criteria for something that’s already been decided.”