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Thiriez confident of EFPL role in 2022 World Cup talks

Thiriez confident of EFPL role in 2022 World Cup talks

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Frederic Thiriez, the newly-appointed permanent chairman of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), is confident that his organisation will play a major role in negotiations over the possible shift in schedule of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Frederic Thiriez, the newly-appointed permanent chairman of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), is confident that his organisation will play a major role in negotiations over the possible shift in schedule of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Thiriez, who has been serving at the helm in an interim capacity since May before securing a three-year term on Friday, said that he expected FIFA’s consultation process over moving the tournament from the summer to winter months to be “transparent, honest and reasonable”. He added: “We thank FIFA for this. We did not want FIFA to make a series of hasty decisions because it could have an impact on our national leagues but also on amateur football, which is, let’s not forget this, our reservoir of players and fans.”

Thiriez added: “There are also possible consequences for the TV (companies) who are our partners. You don’t take that kind of decision without weighing up the consequences. The World Cup is in 2022 and we are in 2013. There is no rush.” It has also been confirmed that Frank Rutten will serve as the EPFL’s deputy chairman for the next three years, with the board of directors comprising Marco Brunelli, Carlos del Campo Colas, Nic Coward, Neil Doncaster, Mario Figueiredo, Edmond Isoz, Swiss Football League, Lars-Christer Olsson, Sergey Pryadkin, Christian Seifert and Claus Thomsen.

Regarding the possibility of moving the 2022 World Cup to the winter, Rutten said: “What strikes us a bit is that some people act surprised that it’s warm in the summer in Qatar while in fact everybody making the decision knew that at the time (they voted). A lot of us have the feeling that the rules have been changed while the match had already started. It is a bit strange if you decide afterwards new criteria for something that’s already been decided.”