Leading European Clubs Set to Agree ‘one-off’ Winter World Cup in Qatar

September 10, 2013

Leading European clubs are finally ready to accept that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar may well be moving to winter from its normal summer spot as long as if it is a one-off exception.

The European Clubs’ Association (ECA) chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has given their position by saying it is ‘better to play it in winter’.

That will leave the Premier League’s opposition to any move looking increasingly isolated with even new Football Association chairman Greg Dyke favouring a switch despite the disruption.

Rummenigge said: “We’re not in a hurry, there are still nine years to go. Having the World Cup in Qatar is not a mistake.”

“We are requesting a solution which in the end is not affecting too much of our business. After visiting Qatar at our last general assembly we had a good feeling about the organisation of a World Cup there.”

FIFA will make a decision on moving the World Cup next month with president Sepp Blatter claiming it is ‘discrimination’ to stipulate it can only be played in the summer.

Blatter has confirmed that he will recommend to the FIFA executive committee meeting in Zurich on October 3 and 4 that the dates are changed.

He told insideworldfootball.com: “If we maintain, rigidly, the status quo, then a FIFA World Cup can never be played in countries that are south of the equator or indeed near the equator. We automatically discriminate against countries that have different seasons than we do in Europe.

“I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world any more, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will on to others in far away places.”

Rummenigge Re-elected ECA Chairman

Rummenigge was also re-elected as European Club Association chairman at the ECA’s 11th General Assembly in Geneva.

Commenting on the elections, ECA Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: “I am delighted to be elected for another 2-year term and re-appointed as chairman. We have achieved a lot in the past, but our mission is not over. With the support of all member clubs, the newly elected Executive Board will continue to work for the good of European football and ensure that the clubs voice is heard.”

New Executive Board:

Mr. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge FC Bayern München (GER)

1st Vice-Chairman
Mr. Umberto Gandini AC Milan (ITA)

2nd Vice-Chairman
Mr. Sandro Rosell FC Barcelona (SPA)

3rd Vice-Chairman
Mr. Evgeni Giner PFC CSKA Moskva (RUS)

Mr. Ivan Gazidis Arsenal FC (ENG)
Mr. Pedro López Jímenez Real Madrid CF (SPA)
Mr. Andrea Agnelli Juventus (ITA)
Mr. Jean-Michel Aulas Olympique Lyonnais (FRA)
Mr. Diogo Brandão FC Porto (POR)
Mr. Theodore Giannikos Olympiacos FC (GRE)
Mr. Edwin van der Sar AFC Ajax (NED)
Mr. Michael Verschueren RSC Anderlecht (BEL)
Mr. Jakub Otava AC Sparta Praha (CZE)
Mr. Zoran Mami? GNK Dinamo (CRO)
Mr. Aušrys Labinas FK Ekranas (LTU)

Michele Centenaro was confirmed as ECA General Secretary.

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