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Qatar World Cup leaves English boss with 'cold sweat'

  • AP, Tuesday, January 11, 2011 11:58 PM

England came out of the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups as the big loser. It was eliminated in the first round of the 2018 race against three other European bidders, and it must cope with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Either the 2022 tournament is held in the summer -- which no one seems to want -- or it is moved to the winter, falling right in the middle of the crowded English season.

“The notion of playing in Qatar just leaves me in a cold sweat at the moment,” FA general secretary Alex Horne said. “Preparing the teams for that environment, we don’t know enough about what they are promising logistically in terms of training grounds, etc. It doesn’t feel like a great experience for the fans, the whole thing is odd, let me just say that."

Almost everyone seems to agree that moving the tournament to the winter is the thing to do. “It will do all sorts of odd things won’t it, because you need to find nine or 10 weeks across the winter. It’s going to split the season, and you’ll need to start early or finish late,” Horne said. “It’s a logistical nightmare. Whether it’s a good idea or not, I don’t know.”

Horne says England must improve its standing internationally. “We’ve got to be disappointed that we’re arguably the most commercially successful association on the planet," he said, "and we just don’t seem to have the clout that I would expect in either FIFA or UEFA."

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