UEFA General Secretary Says Winter World Cups Don't Need To Be A One-Off
Professional football leagues "face huge upheaval to accommodate movable dates for World Cup finals under proposals to restructure the calendar," according to Ashling O'Connor of the LONDON TIMES. As political pressure grows on European governing bodies to yield to a winter World Cup in Qatar in '22, the "idea that the rescheduling need not be a one-off is gaining impetus." UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino said that leagues "should accommodate finals at different times of year depending on the climate in the host country." Infantino said, "Whenever you play the World Cup should be the best period for it. I had the same reflections on South Africa in 2010. It was a pity that it was winter. Four years earlier in Germany, it was nice sunshine. South Africa is a beautiful country, but at 5 o’clock it’s night and it’s zero degrees. It’s not a celebration of football." Infantino’s comments "will be interpreted as fuel to a campaign" to move the 2022 World Cup finals to January or February to "avoid Qatar’s searing summer heat" (LONDON TIMES, 6/7).