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SBD Global/September 26, 2012/International Football

Platini Defiant On Holding Winter World Cup In 2022

UEFA President Michel Platini is now "embarking on a campaign" to force English football to take a month-long winter break to accommodate the 2022 World Cup, according to Mihir Bose of the London EVENING STANDARD. Platini is "determined to bring about the biggest change in world football" by staging the tournament during a European winter for the first time. Platini: “I hope it will be held in winter. We have to go to Qatar when it is good for everybody to participate. What is better for the fans?” Then, expressing sentiments "that will not endear him" to World Cup organizers, Platini added: “Did you see in South Africa? It was freezing and nobody could go anywhere to a fan club or anything. You had to stay in the hotel.” For all the protests a winter World Cup will provoke, Platini is "confident the game will work out a solution." Platini: “In 10 years we can manage to decide how we can postpone the season for one month.” Platini "remains convinced" it was right to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia, not England, and the 2022 tournament to Qatar. In the wake of FIFA's corruption scandal, "there has been talk that the elections might be re-run." However, Platini said, “To revoke World Cup decisions will be difficult. And, if there is another vote, I will vote the same way: for Russia and Qatar." Platini did say that the Emir of Qatar "had promised to hold the World Cup in winter before going back on his word." Platini said, “Before the vote, I told him, ‘I’ll vote for Qatar but I want the World Cup in winter.’ He wanted my vote and said, ‘Of course, yes.’ Now he has changed.” Platini’s plans "will cause consternation among football’s rulers." He also insists that "he values English football" even though he "may never win over sections of the British media who demonise him as an enemy of the Premier League" (EVENING STANDARD, 9/25).
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