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Blatter Presses for Winter World Cup in 2022

Sepp Blatter says he plans to ask FIFA’s executive committee to consider moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter, in order to avoid the Middle Eastern country’s searing summer temperatures. "If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can't play football in the summer,'' the FIFA President said at a conference on Wednesday. "You can cool down the stadiums, but you can't cool down the whole country.''

Despite health concerns cited in an official report released beforehand, FIFA chose the tiny emirate as 2022 host with the intention of hosting the tournament in the summer while providing air-conditioned stadia. Of course, moving the tournament to the winter would force all European leagues to adjust their schedule.

"There is still enough time,'' Blatter said. "I will bring this up to the executive committee.'' He added: "We have to protect our partners, our commercial partners, our TV partners. We have to be tough on this.''

Meanwhile, the head of Qatar's local organizing committee confirmed that Qatar would be open to moving the World Cup to the winter.

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

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