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SBD Global/November 11, 2013/International Football

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Says 2022 Qatar World Cup Will Not Be Held In Jan., Feb.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the 2022 World Cup will not start in Jan. or Feb.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has "cast doubt on the 2022 World Cup being moved to the winter after ruling out the prospect of the tournament being held in January or February of that year," according to the PA. Blatter said that a "clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics" -- which has yet to have a venue confirmed but typically gets under way inside the first two weeks of February -- would be "totally disrespectful to the Olympic family and organisation." Blatter also claimed "other considerations had to be taken into account, with the World Cup and the Olympics sharing many commercial and media partners" (PA, 11/9). The BBC reported Blatter said the tournament "would be held in November or December that year." FIFA "wants to move the competition over fears" Qatar's 40 degrees Celsius summer temperatures "will put players and fans at risk." Blatter: "It will be November-December. I don't know exactly the dates, but it could be from 10th to 10th whatever" (BBC, 11/9).

CO-HOSTING RULED OUT: REUTERS' Amena Bakr reported FIFA has "ruled out any possibility that Qatar could co-host the 2022 World Cup" with neighboring countries. Blatter said, "The decision of the FIFA is to play in one country and that will be in Qatar." Blatter denied that he had "suggested that co-hosting was a possibility, implying that it was a misunderstanding that arose during a news conference in Abu Dhabi on Friday." Blatter: "I was just touring a little bit here, I was in Iran and I was in United Arab Emirates and it came up, the question came up, 'Can we share the World Cup with Qatar?' I just took the questions, but I did not answer. I just want to tell you that when we took the decision for the World Cup 2002 when we played in two countries with difficulties, it was (South) Korea and Japan. We have decided to never go in two countries, even less so to three, if one country is able to do so (stage the tournament)" (REUTERS, 11/9).

BLATTER TO VISIT KABUL: PAJHWOK AGFHAN NEWS reported the Afghanistan Football Federation on Friday said that Blatter has "promised to visit Kabul in the near future." Blatter expressed his "intention to visit Kabul at a meeting with AFF President Karamuddin Karim in the UAE" (PAHJWOK AFGHAN NEWS, 11/8).

IRAN JERSEY GREEN-LIT: The TEHRAN TIMES reported Blatter said on Thursday that he will "support a plan to fight extinction of Iranian cheetah." Blatter promised to "support a national plan aimed at fighting extinction of Iranian cheetah in form of designing a logo to depict the image of the cheetah on national football team’s jersey" for the 2014 World Cup (TEHRAN TIMES, 11/9). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Andrew Warshaw reported Blatter has "urged the Iranian authorities to end the ban on women attending men's matches, a policy that has been in force since the 1979 Islamic revolution" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 11/8).
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