Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, wants the 2022 World Cup to be switched from summer to winter. Anja Niedringhaus / AP Photo
Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, wants the 2022 World Cup to be switched from summer to winter. Anja Niedringhaus / AP Photo

Australia wants compensation for Qatar World Cup switch

'Clubs, investors, broadcasters, players and fans would all be affected,' says Frank Lowry given the A-league played during Australian summer.

SYDNEY // Frank Lowy, Australia’s football chief, has warned Fifa not to rush a decision on switching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the northern hemisphere winter and said other bidders should be compensated if the move goes ahead.

Qatar beat bids from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to win the right to host football’s showpiece tournament despite temperatures in the Gulf nation reaching 50 degrees Celsius in the middle of the year.

After heavy criticism of the decision, calls were made to move it from its normal position in June and July to the end of the year when temperatures in Qatar are lower.

Lowy, chairman of Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the billionaire owner of the Westfield shopping centre empire, said a quick decision over the move at Fifa’s executive board meeting next month risked “making a bad situation worse”.

As well as the other bidders, Lowy said countries with professional leagues, like Australia’s top flight A-league, which would be disrupted by the move should also be compensated.

“Our season takes place during the Australian summer to avoid a clash with other local football codes,” he said.

“If the World Cup were to be staged in the middle of our A-League season it would impact on our competition, not just for 2022, but for the seasons leading up to and beyond that date.

“Clubs, investors, broadcasters, players and fans would all be affected.”

Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, last week stood by the decision to award the tournament to Qatar, saying the decision to play the tournament in the middle of the year was the only mistake.

“Fifa has an opportunity now to make the best of a bad situation by embarking on a transparent and orderly approach, unlike the process that led to the original flawed decision in December 2010,” Lowy said in a statement.

“Fifa champions the notion of ‘Fair Play’ and that principle should apply to the decisions it makes in the coming months.”

Australia invested A$43 million (Dh147.2m) in their failed bid to host the World Cup for the first time.

Lowy said the FFA had already contacted Blatter to explain Australia’s position.

“Australia invested heavily in the World Cup process and the entire nation was behind the bid,” he said.

“Since December 2010 Australia has been careful not to let its misgivings about the process be interpreted as sour grapes.

“But now, with increasing speculation about a change that will impact on us as one of the bidding nations, and because our competition will be affected, we have made our position public.”

Lowy also suggested that no decision on the switch be made until an investigation into the 2022 bidding process by Fifa’s ethics committee was completed.

“Better to let the independent investigative process run its natural course and then, with those issues settled, make a clear-eyed assessment about rescheduling and its consequences,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported that Fox Sports, which agreed to pay a record fee for US broadcast rights for the World Cup, opposes plans by the to reschedule the 2022 event.

According to sources, James Murdoch, the son of Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch, and other network executives told Fifa that moving the competition would clash with NFL games, according to one person familiar with the matter.

Fox in 2011 agreed to pay US$425 million (Dh1.56 billion) for the two-tournament, 2018-22 package, more than four times what current rights holder ESPN paid for 2010-2014.

“Fox Sports bought the World Cup rights with the understanding they would be in the summer as they have been since the 1930s,” Fox said in an e-mailed statement.

sports@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Manager Matt Williams benching star Bryce Harper, above, may have sent the wrong message to the rest of the Washington Nationals. Mike Ehrmann / AFP

Benching Harper sends Williams’s right message the wrong way

Matt Williams, the Washington Nationals manager, made the biggest move of his 18-game tenure on Saturday, benching rising star Bryce Harper for his “lack of hustle”.

 Players such as George Springer are a sign that things are starting to swing in the Houston Astros' favour. But more help is needed. Scott Halleran / AFP

Houston Astros are still earth-bound but help is on the way

As harbingers of a new era go, the Houston Astros could have done worse than misspelling their new phenom’s name on his major-league debut.

 Luis Suarez became the first Liverpool player to score 30 Premier League goals in a season since Ian Rush in 1987. Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

Sterling and Suarez inpire Liverpool to win over Norwich City

The win takes the Premier League table-toppers to 80 points from 35 games.

 Arsenal's Lukas Podolski celebrates his second goal during the Premier League match against Hull City at The KC Stadium in Hull, England, on April 20, 2014. Lynne Cameron / AP Photo

Arsenal maintain push for top-four finish with victory at Hull

Hull could end up in Europe regardless of the FA Cup final result if Arsenal finish in the Uefa Champions League places

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 Stanislas Wawrinka turned away fellow Swiss Roger Federer with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 20, 2014. Julian Finney / Getty Images

Wawrinka backhands Federer aside at Monte Carlo Masters

Stanislas Wawrinka won the Monte Carlo Masters for the first time after rallying to beat Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in a rare all-Swiss final.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National