Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore "has launched a scathing attack on the FA," accusing the governing body "of passing the buck and seeking a scapegoat for the failures of the England team," according to James Ducker of the LONDON TIMES. Scudamore is "adamant that the lack of success of the national team is not the fault of his organisation 'on any level.'" Scudamore was reacting to suggestions that the Premier League "had denied appeals" by England Manager Roy Hodgson, for "no high-profile fixtures to be played" before the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine in September. Scudamore: "I have never, in my 15 years with the Premier League, have never said the PL’s success, or lack of, is someone else’s fault. You have to make it yourself. Let’s run the reverse argument. Where does that leave the people at the FA in terms of their accountability? It can’t be our fault" (LONDON TIMES, 7/28). In London, Chris Wheeler reported the Premier League "has kept to FIFA’s five-day rule governing international call-ups in their scheduling of the two fixtures." And the Premier League is "astonished that Hodgson is worried about a game against Moldova, currently joint 125th in FIFA’s world rankings with Cyprus" (DAILY MAIL, 7/28).
WORLD CUP WORRIES: REUTERS' Mike Collett reported Scudamore "also expressed his worries" that the 2022 World Cup will be moved from summer to winter "because of the intense heat in Qatar, thus disrupting his league." Scudamore "is totally opposed to the idea." Scudamore: "I'm not going to say I think it will happen because I'm still working the best I can, garnering enough support, a groundswell of support, to make sure it doesn't happen in winter. We do want to have it in summer -- the summer is the right time" (REUTERS, 7/29). The London EVENING STANDARD reported Scudamore "points out that the heat problem was obvious before the voting." Scudamore: "The idea the technical committee did not know people were going to be exposed to that heat is crazy. The issue should have been thrashed out around the discussion table. If the Qataris are unable to host a proper tournament in the summer, they shouldn’t have been awarded it" (EVENING STANDARD, 7/29). The PA's Simon Stone reported Scudamore "has cautioned against the prospect of taking legal action to prevent a winter World Cup." Scudamore and his counterparts across the ''big five'' European leagues are "furious" at the prospect of the 2022 event in Qatar being shifted to winter. Yet it seems actually taking on FIFA through the courts "is not a palatable prospect." Scudamore: "I wouldn't go there. That is far too contentious really; taking on the world governing body. We will do our lobbying but it is far too premature to be talking about legal action" (PA, 7/29).