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SBD Global/November 15, 2013/International Football

FIFA Close To Deal With Premier League To Switch 2022 Qatar World Cup To Winter

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said a spring World Cup was "impossible."
The Premier League "was close, on Tuesday night, to an agreement" for the 2022 World Cup to be switched to November and December, according to Ben Rumsby of the London TELEGRAPH. FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, who is leading the review into whether the tournament in Qatar should be moved to the winter, "confirmed that -- barring unforeseen circumstances -- it would be played at the end of 2022." Valcke also "revealed that his review had begun" with a meeting with Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore and FA General Secretary Alex Horne last month. Valcke: "I can tell you that, with the Premier League, we are close to an understanding." Blatter insisted that a spring World Cup was “impossible” after FIFA President Sepp Blatter "also ruled out a January-February tournament." Valcke revealed that the FA and Premier League were "determined to preserve English football’s traditional Christmas programme" (TELEGRAPH, 11/12). GOAL reported Valcke admited that "one of the wider challenges presented by a November/December World Cup would be its close proximity to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations." Valcke: “Does it make sense to have the Africa Cup of Nations three weeks after the World Cup? Is it not too much with regards the release of players?” Concerning the likely timetable for a final decision, Valcke added, “There are a number of things still to work on but the final goal is to try to have either in December 2014 or, at the latest, in March 2015, a final decision” (GOAL, 11/14).
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