Europe's pro leagues: Rescheduling 2022 World Cup would be 'damaging'

Friday October 24th, 2014

The Association of European Professional Football Leagues says any re-scheduling of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would be "damaging" to its leagues.

The EPFL believes the tournament should be played during June and July, the standard time for the event.

“The EPFL considers that any re-scheduling of the World Cup would be damaging the domestic competitions and Leagues’ business and sporting interests,” EPFL Chairman Frédéric Thiriez said.

The selection of Qatar as a host to the 2022 World Cup has been under fire since FIFA announced the country won the bidding in December 2010.

There has been concern about the heat in the region, where temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in June, when the tournament is scheduled to start.

FIFA officials have informally proposed playing the games at night to avoid the heat or even moving the tournament to November and December. If the tournament is moved to November, some leagues would have to take an eight-week mid-season break.

“We cannot play the World Cup in summer," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said, according to the BBC. "The date which is the most convenient is the end of the year because to play at the beginning of 2022 is when the Winter Olympics take place."

Blatter set a March 2015 deadline to decide when the tournament will be held.

Blatter has said there will be no conflict between the 2022 World Cup and the Winter Olympics, which start in February 2022. Either Almaty, Kazakhstan or Beijing, China will host those games.

FIFA has also investigated the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments amid claims that officials were paid to secure votes. 

According to BBC Sport, the European Club Association, which includes some of the continent’s biggest clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, favors moving the tournament back to May to avoid the heat.

The European Club Association, which encompasses 214 members from 53 different associations, believe that moving the tournament would have little to no disruption.

- Scooby Axson

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