NYON: UEFA has said it has no objection to the World Cup timing switch in 2022 because a November/December staging will have minimal effect on the Champions League and Europa League.

The European federation, setting itself up for direct confrontation with some of its western European leagues and their major clubs, clarified its attitude in this formal statement:

“UEFA¬†supports the recommendation made by the FIFA Task Force for the international match calendar 2018-24 to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar from late November to late December 2022.

“UEFA believes that – for the benefits of players and fans – the event should be played in winter and now awaits the final decision from the FIFA Executive Committee meeting on 18/19 March 2015.

“UEFA sees no major issues in rescheduling its competitions for the 2022-23 season, should the 2022 FIFA World Cup proposal be approved by the FIFA Executive Committee, and UEFA acknowledges that the competition may be shortened and thus that the release period of players be reduced.”

Michel Platini, French president of UEFA, has said that he voted for Qatar as host in his role as a member of the world federation FIFA’s executive committee in December 2010. Shortly after that award Platini began a campaign to have the finals switched to a winter date.