FA chairman reacts to Sepp Blatter's Qatar comments


The Football Association is at odds with FIFA over plans to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter after chairman David Bernstein declared that the proposals are "fundamentally flawed".

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said last month that it would be impractical to play in 50-degree summer heat on the Asian peninsula. 

He told reporters: "What do we do? It's not rational and reasonable to play in June-July."

But Bernstein claimed: "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."

Qatar overcame bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States when it was awarded the competition in 2010, while England were defeated by Russia in their endeavour to host the 2018 tournament.

Jerome Valcke, FIFA general secretary, admitted in March that the historic event may have to break from tradition to avoid the sweltering temperatures, though Bernstein has said it would cause too much disruption.

"I personally believe that the domestic league season should remain more or less the way it is now, running from August to May," revealed the official, who steps down from his post as FA chairman next month.

Bernstein continued: "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."

Meanwhile, Blatter had previously given conflicting views on the idea, which is backed by UEFA president Michel Platini: "In the summer, at 50 degrees, you can not possibly play football in Qatar." he professed.

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