Bernstein dismisses winter World Cup idea

07 June 2013 04:16

Football Association chairman David Bernstein condemned proposals to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter as 'fundamentally flawed' and believes the game should resist any attempt to make domestic leagues play in the summer.

Bernstein, who steps down as FA chairman next month, was speaking after UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino added his voice to calls for a winter World Cup and also questioned why European leagues did not play in the summer.

Bernstein said: "My personal view is that it would be a case of a false prospectus if the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was switched to the winter. It is a serious matter bidding for the World Cup and countries including ourselves spent huge amounts of money bidding for the tournament."

Moving the 2022 World Cup to winter would cause significant disruption to European leagues - it would affect three seasons if the 2022 World Cup was played in December or January - and the FA chairman said Qatar won the vote on the basis of it being played in June.

He added: "The bid was for the World Cup to be played in June and July and for it then to be moved to the winter would be fundamentally flawed. If people want it in the winter they should bid for it on that basis.

"To try and get it through the back door like this is absolutely flawed."

In terms of domestic leagues playing in the summer, Bernstein is equally opposed, and he said: "I personally believe that the domestic league season should remain more or less the way it is now, running from August to May.

"I think football is a winter game, that the public greatly enjoy their football through the winter and that we should think very carefully before we take football away from the public in the winter."

There has been growing pressure for the 2022 World Cup to be moved to avoid temperatures that can reach 50 degrees Celsius, despite Qatar's plan for air-conditioned stadiums and other facilities. Infantino echoed his UEFA chief Michel Platini in backing the move.

He told The Times: "Whenever you play the World Cup it should be the best period for it. I had the same reflections on South Africa in 2010. Four years earlier in Germany it was nice sunshine. South Africa is a beautiful country, but at five o'clock, it's night and it's 0C. It's not a celebration of football."

Source: PA