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Euro clubs could lobby for a May WC
24 Oct 2014 15:03
Top European football clubs could lobby for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to take place in May, according to reports.
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The European Club Association, an umbrella organisation representing the interests of 214 teams from the continent, is a powerful voice in the ongoing negotiations around when the tournament will be scheduled.
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The group, which counts 10 English clubs among its number, is reported to favour May, a stance it will be able to present to the sport's world governing body FIFA at a calendar task force meeting next month.
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A traditional mid-summer competition appears to have few supporters, with heat and humidity in the Middle East state reaching levels that could compromise the safety of players and spectators.
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Bringing the event forward to January or February has its supporters, but a clash with the Winter Olympics presents a potentially insurmountable obstacle.
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Another alternative, apparently favoured by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, would see the World Cup take place in November and December, when the climate would be more suited to football.
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But that would represent a huge disruption to many domestic leagues, a prospect that could wreak havoc with European structures - effectively splitting the 2022-23 campaign in two as well as having a knock-on effect to future seasons.
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Now it seems ECA, formed in 2008 and backed by the power of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris St Germain as well as the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs, will push for its own vision.
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May temperatures would still be stifling, but unlikely to be significantly higher than those experienced in Mexico (1986), the United States (1994) or Japan and South Korea (2002).
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The stadium cooling technology Qatar have long promised will be available could also come into play in such circumstances.
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A task force, featuring a wide variety of stakeholders, will have its next meeting in November before recommending a preferred timetable to FIFA's executive committee next year.
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