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Volume 6 No. 215

International Football

Despite UEFA President Michel Platini's calls for a winter 2022 World Cup, Qatar organizers "have no intention of switching the tournament from the summer," according to Mark Bisson of The Frenchman has made "repeated calls for the change" since the oil-rich nation secured the World Cup in Dec. '10. Former FIFA Exec Committee Member Franz Beckbauer is among other leading football execs as well as the worldwide players' union FIFPro, who have supported Platini’s stance. They point to the "health risks for players of training and competing in June-July Qatar temperatures that can soar to 50ºC." Despite this skepticism, Qatar 2022 organizers remain "fully confident in the stadium cooling technologies" that were at the heart of their bid. These technologies would be used to lower temperatures in stadiums and training centers to 27ºC. However, "they are not yet proven technologies" (, 9/20).

England Manager Roy Hodgson wants TV companies to stop asking Premier League's top teams to play on the Sunday before an int'l, according to the BBC. Because affected players need "time to recover," Hodgson thinks such scheduling limits his amount of preparation time (BBC, 9/20). The LONDON TIMES' Sam Munnery wrote that Hodgson claimed that the EPL and TV companies were "making his job as England manager more difficult." Hodgson said, "This is the Premier League and TV. It would be nice if, when we’re playing on Friday, the top teams played on Saturday and not Sunday. Then on Monday we could do a bit of work, and on Tuesday do some serious work." The scheduling shift, which led to the weekend internationals being moved from Saturdays to Fridays "was welcomed by club managers," with players returning earlier having concluded their int'l duty on the following Tuesday, but it provides a "further squeeze" for the England manager. That scenario "will rear its head again next month when England plays a World Cup qualifier against San Marino at Wembley" on Oct. 12 before meeting Poland in Warsaw four days later (LONDON TIMES, 9/20).

WINTER BREAK: The PA reported that Hodgson also called for the introduction of a winter break to give the English season a more "logical" schedule, and added: "It would be lovely to think that one day we could all get together and say 'England is important.' You hear people trying to say it's only the Premier League that counts, and the Champions League, and people don't care about international football -- but something like 24 million or 25 million watched our [Euro 2012] game against Italy" (PA, 9/20).