x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

UAE mentioned among possible winter 2022 World Cup host countries

Uefa soccer boss Michael Plantini says UAE and five other regional countries should share hosting duties with Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.

While attending the UEFA President's Award in Munich, Germany this week, UEFA president Michel Platini, left, explained why he thinks the 2022 World Cup should be played in the winter and be hosted by Qatar and its neighbouring countries. Lennart Preiss / Getty Images
While attending the UEFA President's Award in Munich, Germany this week, UEFA president Michel Platini, left, explained why he thinks the 2022 World Cup should be played in the winter and be hosted by Qatar and its neighbouring countries. Lennart Preiss / Getty Images

BERLIN // Michel Platini, the president of Uefa, has suggested that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be spread out to involve neighbouring countries – which would include the UAE. The Frenchman, head of European football, also insisted that the tournament must be held in winter to protect players and fans from searing desert heat.

"I am in favour of Qatar under two conditions," the Uefa president told Bild newspaper. "Because of the heat the World Cup will need to be held in the winter. With over 40 degrees playing football is impossible and for the fans it would also be unbearable.

"Also, the neighbouring emirates must be included so that the World Cup is staged throughout the entire region," he added.

Saudi Arabia shares a border with Qatar while the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait could all be candidates to stage games.

The finals were awarded to Qatar by world governing body Fifa in 2010 and are due to be held in the summer months when the temperature can reach more than 40°C.

In December and January the average is a far less intense 17°C.

Platini voted for Qatar to be awarded the world's top football tournament and was also in favour of Russia being awarded the event in 2018.

Qatar's winning bid caused a major stir in world football with critics arguing it would be impossible to freeze Europe's big leagues to stage a World Cup in December or January.

"I was the only one who before the vote had said how he will vote. Both countries [Russia and Qatar] have never staged a World Cup," Platini said.

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