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Qatar move a quandary - inspection chief

09 Oct 2013 19:01:52

Qatar move a quandary - inspection chief

The man who led the inspections of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids has admitted there is no perfect solution to moving the Qatar tournament from the summer.

Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who was head of the FIFA evaluation commission, said his group had warned of the issue of the summer heat but believes the decision to hand the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was effectively made before he had presented his report.

Mayne-Nicholls has looked at three options to moving the tournament from its usual June/July slot - October/November, January/Feburary or May/June, with games played at night time.

Mayne-Nicholls, from Chile, told the Leaders in Football conference in London: "It is really really dangerous to play in the summer time in Qatar but there is no simple or easy solution."

He pointed out that whenever the tournament was moved to it would cause clashes with domestic and European club football and even international qualifying fixtures, plus possibly the NFL and the Winter Olympics.

Meanwhile, United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said his country will only consider a bid for the 2026 World Cup if FIFA tightens up its rules on bidding.

Gulati was head of the US bid for the 2022 tournament which was defeated by Qatar, and there has been talk of a new bid for 2026.

The president of the Mexican league, Decio de Maria, has suggested the USA could bid for that tournament with some matches being played in Mexico.

But Gulati, who is now a FIFA executive committee member, said: "Would we be interested in bidding for 2026? The procedures would need to be very different to what they are now.

"If the critical issue is taking it to new lands, then tell us in advance because we won't bother.


PA

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