Feb 25, 2015

    EPL boss laments 2022 World Cup dates


    ENGLISH Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said yesterday that all major European football clubs were "very disappointed" by moves to hold the 2022 World Cup in November-December.

    He was reacting following the recommendation yesterday by a Fifa World Cup task force that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar be shortened and held in November-December to avoid the country's scorching summer.

    A tournament from the end of November to the end of December was "the most viable period" for the World Cup, the task force decided. But a final decision will be made by the Fifa executive committee only next month.

    "There is one solution, November-December," said Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke after a meeting of the task force in Doha.

    Fifa said the task force also recommended a shorter competition. But it did not say by how much the tournament would be shrunk. Officials said there was no proposal to reduce the number of countries taking part from 32.

    "The outcome of the discussions is also a proposed reduced competition-days schedule, with the exact dates to be defined in line with the match schedule and number of venues to be used," said Fifa. "The proposed event dates have the full support of all six confederations," it added.

    But Europe's top leagues and clubs, who fear a costly disruption to their flagship Champions League event as well as their domestic championships, expressed immediate opposition.

    Scudamore, a member of the Fifa task force, also said he felt "let down" by Uefa, European football's governing body, over the dates.

    "Very disappointed - that's the word, I think, on behalf of all the European leagues and, particularly, the European clubs who provide most of the players for this World Cup," he said.

    He added that it would be the European leagues and clubs that would "suffer the most".

    The decision to move the World Cup - traditionally played in June and July - has led to speculation that some European leagues would seek compensation.

    But Scudamore said the Premier League has not been "talking about compensations" and would leave it "for others to go down that route".