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SBD Global/August 26, 2013/International Football

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Expects 2022 Qatar World Cup To Be Moved To Winter

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FIFA's Sepp Blatter expects the 2022 Qatar World Cup to move to winter.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter expects his exec committee "to decide soon that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be moved from the searing heat of summer," according to Graham Dunbar of the AP. Blatter said on Sunday that an Oct. 3-4 meeting in Zurich "should approve the change, and begin consultation on the best time for Qatar to host the tournament." Blatter: "I would be very much surprised, more than surprised, if the ExCo will not accept the principle you cannot play in summer in Qatar. What will be following, this would be then decided later." Blatter said that "consultations would involve leagues, clubs, national associations and players, through their international union FIFPro but he set no timetable." Blatter "has previously suggested November as a possible start for the monthlong tournament while recent speculation has focused on May." A January-February slot "is unlikely because of a clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics" (AP, 8/25). The BBC reported FIFA VP Jeffrey Webb said that "player welfare is his main priority ahead of the Qatar World Cup in 2022." Webb: "The real concern from my perspective will definitely be the conditions for the players." Webb, one of eight FIFA VPs, said that "player welfare must come first." He said, "The World Cup is about the players and it's about showing them the necessary respect" (BBC, 8/25).
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