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Europe backs winter World Cup

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19 Sep 2013 13:46:59

Europe backs winter World Cup

European countries have given their overall backing to moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter, Britain's FIFA vice-president has confirmed.

Jim Boyce, from Northern Ireland, said however the 54 UEFA associations meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia, want FIFA to consult with the game's major stakeholders before making any decision about exactly when the tournament is staged.

FIFA's executive committee is now expected to agree in principle to move the World Cup to the winter at its meeting in Zurich on October 3/4.

Boyce, speaking from Dubrovnik, told Press Association Sport: "What has come out of this meeting, and what I think is sensible, is an agreement by the UEFA countries that the World Cup cannot be played in Qatar in the summer. Everyone was certainly in agreement about that.

"But what the 54 countries do not want FIFA to do is to make a decision yet on exactly when in the year it is going to be played.

"There is still nine years to go and people feel FIFA should sit down with all the major stakeholders and come up with a solution that would cause the minimum disruption to football.

"There is plenty of time to do that in my opinion, and hopefully football will be the winner."

There could well be disagreements in the future however over whether it is played in January 2022 or November/December of that year.

The British associations told the meeting they want to make sure that the Christmas week is protected for domestic football, while UEFA chiefs favour January so that it would not impact on the Champions League.

FIFA are believed to favour November/December so that it does not clash with the winter Olympics.


PA

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