Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has spoken of his concern about an apparent shift in “momentum” towards the 2022 FIFA World Cup being staged in the winter.
The Premier League has been one of the most vociferous opponents of the suggestion that the World Cup could be switched from its traditional June-July slot due to the stifling summer temperatures in the host country, Qatar. The organisers of the World Cup have repeatedly insisted they are preparing to stage the tournament in the summer, with air-cooling technology set to be used in state-of-the-art stadia.
“Ultimately FIFA will decide, so of course one is worried,” Scudamore said, according to the Associated Press. “We’re not silly. We’re not stupid. We can see that that’s the way the momentum is shifting.” Last week, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that he was planning to ask the executive committee of football’s global governing body to consider moving the 2022 tournament to the winter.
FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce has called on the Premier League to drop their opposition to the proposal. “A sensible decision has to be made,” Boyce told the BBC. “I would appeal to people in the Premier League. I know Qatar has said they will air-condition the stadiums and I’m sure they will be fantastic but you have to be realistic. You’re taking thousands of people, who want to see and enjoy a World Cup, but in temperatures exceeding 50 degrees, that would not be comfortable or healthy for all of those people.”