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Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the English Premier League, says Fifa should have awarded Qatar the World Cup 2022 hosting rights knowing the consequences first. Robert Cianflone / Getty Images
Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the English Premier League, says Fifa should have awarded Qatar the World Cup 2022 hosting rights knowing the consequences first. Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

Winter World Cup in Qatar to cause 'chaos', says Premier League chief

Richard Scudamore says moving football's biggest tournament from summer will disrupt calendars of most leagues in the world.

HONG KONG // Sepp Blatter's plans to move the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar to the winter would spark global "chaos",Richard Scudamore,the English Premier League chief executive, said on Thursday.

Blatter, the Fifa president, last week confronted the increasingly prickly issue by stating he believed the tournament could not take place in the summer, and that position has been backed by the international players' union Fifpro.

They are concerned about the health dangers to players and fans of staging the tournament in the Gulf in June and July, where temperatures rocket to 50C.

"We are on the record as saying we don't think it works and we think it's wrong," Scudamore told Agence France-Presse in Hong Kong, where the pre-season Barclays Asia Trophy is taking place.

"We think that the World Cup should have been bid for on the basis that it was going to be where it was going to be, and the great and good of Fifa and the wise people that made those decisions should have made their decisions in the full knowledge of what the consequences were.

"Not just the English calendar, but the European calendar and the world football calendar just about works as it is," Scudamore said.

"The idea of everyone just having to be disrupted and the logistics of that... it's all very easy for people that are 'presidential' in one sense they don't have to do the work. But there's an awful lot of chaos would be caused across world football if it got moved.

"We'll be doing all the lobbying we can to try and persuade people that's not the right way to go."

The Premier League has long been a vocal opponent of a winter World Cup on the grounds it would cause major disruption to three domestic seasons the 2021/22 season and the ones either side as well as impacting on broadcasting contracts.

Asked how likely he thought a Qatar winter World Cup was, Scudamore said: "I'm not part of that Fifa think-tank or part of that machinery.

"We have our league and we know what we're doing. We don't do any more than that and it'll be for the national federations, confederations and Fifa executive to work on that."

Blatter has insisted he will push to have the World Cup moved despite the effect it could have on domestic leagues when the Fifa executive committee meets on October 3 and 4.

Average temperatures in Qatar are markedly cooler in December, with highs of 24C and lows of 15C.


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