KEIR RADNEDGE in MONTE CARLO: Michel Platini has reiterated his insistence that European football should accept that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be held in the winter.
Platini’s favoured solution is to hold the finals in January of 2022 though this might run into complications because of the proximity, for television and sponsors, of the Winter Olympic Games.
The French president of UEFA has supported the concept of a winter World Cup almost as long as he has supported the idea of staging the finals in the Gulf state – for which he voted in the infamous exco ballot of December 2010.
In October FIFA’s executive committee will discuss moving the finals out of traditional June/July slot.
Platini, debating the timing of a switched finals in an interview with Sky, said: “If it’s in December or November it could be a problem, if it’s in January it will not be a problem.
“It will be very specific for one year – instead of finishing (the season) in May, we finish in June. I’ve already looked at that and for me there is no problem.
“FIFA will decide and organise it, but perhaps the European leagues will make a proposal to FIFA.
“If you think that the World Cup is the best tournament in the world – in all sports – you play in the season that is best for the fans and players.”
Platini believed that moving the tournament would be beneficial to the fans and would help create a positive atmosphere around the event.
Recalling the contrasting chill evening temperatures of South Africa in 2010, he said: “At five o’clock I was back in the hotel because it was freezing. It was not nice [for the fan fests] because there was no atmosphere, there was no big festival in the cities because it was too cold.
“If we go to Qatar and it’s 55 degrees, it’s not possible for the fans to come, but if it’s in winter I think it will be very nice.
“We have to adapt to that for the World Cup – the best event in football. The World Cup brings the people to look at this wonderful thing. That’s why I support the fact we have to play when the season is best.”