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Volume 6 No. 213

International Football

It is "virtually certain" that FIFA will announce early next month that the 2022 World Cup cannot be staged in Qatar in the summer due to the "dangerously high temperatures," however industry sources said that it is "unimaginable" that U.S. broadcaster Fox would accept a switch to winter, according to Nick Harris of the London DAILY MAIL. Fox said that it agreed to pay £630M ($1B) for the "rights to screen the World Cup in the summers of 2018 and 2022, not in winter." Industry sources said that it is "'unimaginable' that they will accept a switch, not at that price." The "bombshell revelation highlights the enormous legal complexities ahead." Legally and contractually, Qatar is "obliged to stage a summer event that most agree they cannot now stage." But Qatar has "no legal or contractual right to stage a winter World Cup in 2022." A Fox spokesperson said, "Fox Sports bought the World Cup rights with the understanding they would be in the summer as they have been since the 1930s." Fox did not comment on "potential legal action if the 2022 event moves to winter," but a "network insider" said that Fox "will not countenance" a World Cup being "given prominence" on U.S. TV between October and December. Asked about TV contract problems and EPL "opposition to a winter switch," a FIFA spokesperson said, "The matter of the timing of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be discussed in various ad hoc committees as well as the FIFA Executive Committee at the occasion of its next session" on Oct. 3-4 in Zurich. Until these meetings have taken place, "FIFA is in no position to make any further comments" (DAILY MAIL, 9/14).

League Championship Reading striker Jason Roberts has claimed that Professional Footballers Association Chair Clarke Carlisle "has heaped further abuse on victims of racial discrimination" by describing Rio and Anton Ferdinand as “s***houses” in his autobiography -- language which Roberts considers “disgusting” and inappropriate for a players' union leader, according to Ian Herbert of the London INDEPENDENT. Carlisle made the outspoken attack "in response to the boycott of the Kick it Out anti-racism T-shirt campaign." Roberts "staunchly defended the action the players took," stating that Carlisle and the PFA "were made acutely aware last year of the concerns of around 30 black players." He said Carlisle has “misrepresented” the concerns of those players, who have made detailed proposals for change in a document -- entitled The Way Forward -- which was "distributed to the PFA and other governing bodies last year." Roberts said, "Clarke’s comments have totally misrepresented and trivialized what was a highly sensitive and emotive issue in the football industry, and players like Anton now find themselves being subjected to abusive language, when they have been on the receiving end of abuse and victimisation" (INDEPENDENT, 9/14).

The Football Federation of Cambodia is looking to make "major reforms to its top tier competition, the Metfone C-League," starting next season after "preliminary discussions were held with representatives of all clubs involved during a meeting at the Federation offices in Olympic Stadium on Wednesday morning" (PHNOM PENH POST, 9/13). ... Football fans in Nigeria's "southeast Ebonyi State have faulted the modalities" for FIFA's monthly rankings of football nations (XINHUA, 9/14). ... Reigning I-League champion Churchill Brothers "on Saturday lashed out" at the All India Football Federation for "failing to pay it the full winners' prize money besides clearing other dues" (THE HINDU, 9/15).