Sepp Blatter says awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup is a mistake
FIFA president Sepp Blatter will step up efforts to change World Cup dates from summer to winter
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has announced that he thinks awarding Qatar the World Cup may have been a mistake on FIFA's side.
Blatter says he is hopeful that he will convince FIFA to move the World Cup from summer to winter in order to avoid playing matches in soaring temperatures.
In October, Blatter will submit his proposal to the FIFA Executive Committee and the committee will then make a decision on the matter.
"It may well be that we made a mistake at the time," said Blatter.
"On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political relationships. The World Cup is FIFA's biggest, if not only, global event.
"Who are we, the Europeans, to demand that this event has to cater to the needs of 800 million Europeans above all?
"I think it is high time Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world anymore, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will onto others in faraway places."
However, the European Professional Football Leagues, a body which represents all of Europe's domestic club competitions, was quick to respond to Blatter's proposal.
In a statement announced at a press release, they explained, "The EPFL, representing the entities responsible for the organization of national championships in Europe, is of the view that no hasty decision shall be made by the FIFA Executive Committee of October 3-4 considering...such an important decision cannot be rushed by artificial deadlines as the concerned FIFA World Cup will take place in nine years."
Of course, any rescheduling of the FIFA World Cup, particularly to the winter, would effect domestic league schedules. Games may have to be pushed back or cancelled if the World Cup is played during the winter.
However, Sepp Blatter said: "We must accept that football has moved away from being a European and South American sport, it had become the world sport that billions of fans are excitedly following every week, everywhere in the world."
Regarding his desire to have the World Cup staged during the winter, he concluded: "After many discussions, deliberations, and critical review of the entire matter, I came to the conclusion that playing the World Cup in the heat of Qatar's summer was simply not a responsible thing to do."
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