LONDON: Former Holland defender Ronald De Boer, one of the ambassadors for Qatar’s successful 2022 bid, is positive about the idea of  holding the World Cup there during the winter writes CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE.

De Boer was speaking at the Leaders in Football conference in London on a panel discussing football in the middle east. The subject again came up about moving the 2022 World Cup to the winter, as has been suggested on numerous occasions by UEFA president Michel Platini.

“Change is good, maybe it’s good to have it in the winter,” said De Boer who has had a home in Qatar. “Usually you have players who play in the Champions League Final going to a World Cup just two weeks later. But if you have it in the winter, you have everyone physically fit and mentally fit.

“It’s the same with players who go off to the African Nations Cup who also play in January. I don’t see any difficulties. I think it’s great we have the opportunity to try it and would be great to play it in the winter. For the fans it would be great if it’s in the winter.”

De Boer lives in the region after a stint with Qatari club Al-Shamal. He was also an ambassador for the bid team when they won the right to host the tournament back in December 2010.

However, alongside De Boer was Qatar 2022’s Director of Communications and Marketing Nasser Al-Khater who reiterated that their plan was to host the tournament in the summer.

He said: “This question been asked so many times. We have bid for a summer World Cup, and our plans are to host a summer World Cup. If the football community really wants to have it in the winter then we will oblige.”

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