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Boyce proposes late World Cup kick-offs

06 Jul 2012 12:17:14

Boyce proposes late World Cup kick-offs

FIFA should consider playing World Cup matches late at night at the 2022 tournament in Qatar in order to avoid the extreme heat, the organisation's British vice-president Jim Boyce has said.

Temperatures in the day in Qatar can reach 50 degrees Centigrade and in nearby Dubai this summer Australia will play three cricket one-day games against Pakistan that could finish as late as 1.45am. A 10pm kick-off time for football in Qatar would be 8pm in England and Boyce said that could help with the heat - and be good for television.

Boyce, from Northern Ireland, told the Press Association: "The FIFA executive committee decided, before my time, that the tournament is going to be held in Qatar and anything should be considered to try to alleviate the severe heat conditions."

He added: "We have heard that there is an intention to provide air conditioning in the stadiums but we should also look at anything that will improve spectator comfort and player comfort.

"People cannot play in 50 degree heat so if that's to be one of the compromises then that's something we will have to look at.

"It might also be an advantage in terms of making it compatible with a worldwide television audience."

Both UEFA president Michel Platini and Germany's Franz Beckenbauer have called for the 2022 World Cup to be played in January instead because of the heat.

Platini, who has confirmed he voted for Qatar, has said he is prepared to move European competitions to allow that to happen.

Beckenbauer, also thought to have voted for Qatar, said last year: "In January and February you have comfortable 25 degrees there. Qatar won the vote and deserves a fair chance as the first host from the Middle East."


PA

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