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SBD Global/September 10, 2013/International Football
Sepp Blatter: FIFA Should Have Realized Summer Qatar World Cup A Mistake
Published September 10, 2013
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EXPECTING A SWITCH: In London, Dunbar & Drayton wrote Blatter expects his exec committee to agree that the '22 tournament "should be switched from the searing heat of summer." Blatter "has previously suggested November as a possible start for the month-long tournament while recent speculation has focused on May." A January-February slot "is unlikely because of a clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics." Finding new dates could be led by the 27-member FIFA board in its duty to set the fixture schedule for int'l matches, "when clubs must release their players to national teams." The int'l calendar "is currently set through 2018," and the next round of discussions would look to the '19-22 cycle of seasons (DAILY MAIL, 9/9). Also in London, Owen Gibson reported The European Clubs Association, a coalition of 207 of the biggest clubs in Europe, "is meeting in Geneva on Tuesday to discuss the issue." ECA Senior VP Umberto Gandini believes it is "almost inevitable" it will have to accept the winter switch. If the ECA accepts the shift, it could leave the Premier League "increasingly isolated in its fervent opposition" (GUARDIAN, 9/9). In London, Matt Dickinson reported leading European leagues are "privately accepting the inevitability of the unprecedented switch." The switch to winter has yet to be ratified but looks certain when the Fifa executive committee meets next month in Zurich (LONDON TIMES, 9/10).