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SBD Global/September 24, 2013/International Football

Scottish FA Chief Stewart Regan Backs Switch To Winter World Cup In 2022

Scottish FA chief Stewart Regan says league favors winter World Cup in 2022.
Scottish FA CEO Stewart Regan admits that "he would be reluctant to see Scotland players participate in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in the height of summer," according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Regan said, "I think our preferred position would be that we would not want our players to be playing football in the height of the summer. That means you would have to consider another part of the year, potentially a winter World Cup." Regan did admit, though, that discussions over Scotland's participation in a World Cup "would be a nice problem to have." Regan: "As far as Scotland are concerned, we would quite happily play the World Cup in the North Pole on Christmas Day if we were part of the qualification." Asked how disruptive a switch to winter would be in terms of domestic football fixtures, Regan said, "Clearly there would be a lot of logistical challenges and that's why a consultation group has to be established and why FIFA have agreed to talk to all of the confederations and, indeed, why we were debating the matter in Dubrovnik last week." Regan "did not feel that putting the 2022 World Cup out to tender again was a realistic option" after the decision was made to name Qatar as host nation. Regan: "I think that horse has bolted" (DAILY RECORD, 9/23).

ON THE AGENDA: REUTERS' Brian Homewood reported FIFA "has confirmed that it will discuss the timing" of the 2022 World Cup at its next exec committee meeting. The agenda for the meeting on Oct. 3-4, published on Monday, included the item "FIFA World Cup Qatar, period of the competition" (REUTERS, 9/23). SOCCEREX reported Qatar 2022 "has maintained that is committed to delivering the cooling technology it promised" for staging the World Cup, "regardless of whether it remains in its current calendar slot or is switched to a winter event." Qatar 2022 said that while it is "open to a switch to winter dates to lessen the impact of the nation’s sweltering summer temperatures, it is still keen to deliver air-conditioned stadiums using new environmentally-friendly technology." The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee said, "We bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in summer and are fully committed and working hard to deliver on these promises" (SOCCEREX, 9/23).
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