Premier League Chairman Supports Qatar 2022 Winter World Cup

March 19, 2013

The prospect of the 2022 World Cup being played in the winter has been boosted by support from Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards and Britain’s FIFA vice-president.

Richards, speaking at the Securing Sport conference in Qatar, said: ”I think they will play (the World Cup) at a time that is proper for football but they will have to speak to the leagues in Europe.

”They will have to agree proper times when we can start and finish.

”At the moment it has a tremendous amount of implications for Europe. For us, at this minute, the answer is ‘no’.

”But, if we take a proper view, we have to find a way to have a winter spell where we don’t play and I think common sense will prevail.

”We’ve got FIFA now saying that medical people are saying that they can’t play in Qatar in the summer because of the heat, which is probably right.

”I think over the next few years, things will change and they will come to a compromise.”

Jim Boyce, from Northern Ireland, believes the searing heat of July in Qatar, where temperatures often reach more than 45 degrees Celsius, will be too much for players and spectators even with the promise of air-conditioned stadiums.

Boyce told Press Association Sport: “I was not part of the process that gave the World Cup to Qatar, but my feeling is that common sense should prevail. The World Cup is the greatest event in football and from a spectator point of view it has to be played at a time of year when people can enjoy it in comfort.”

He added: “People I know who live in Qatar say it would be very uncomfortable for the fans.

“There is also a medical and health concern for both players and spectators and if it is going to be safer to play it in January instead of July then I would be in favour of that.”

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said earlier this month that the 2022 World Cup could be moved to the winter if research shows holding the tournament in the summer heat would be dangerous for players, while Michel D’Hooghe, the chairman of FIFA’s medical committee, has also backed the move to play it in the winter.