KEIR RADNEDGE in EDINBURGH: If Michel Platini seeks to enforce a winter World Cup switch on Qatar he will face powerful opposition from within FIFA’s own executive committee.
The issue has arisen yet again, first with a repetitious interview the UEFA president gave to Germany’s Bild then with comments by FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke here in the Scottish capital (see http://tinyurl.com/a7gezga).
Qatar were surprise winners of the 2022 World Cup award after a vote by the world federation’s executive committee in December 2010. Beaten – and bitter – rivals were Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States, who were last-round losers.
Sources within the US Soccer Federation have suggested that any attempt to reopen the 2022 staging could prompt legal action because such a decision would be subverting the entire bid operation.
That danger was raised here by Jeffrey Webb, the Cayman Islands banker who has been a reforming president, since last year, of the central and north American confederation, CONCACAF.
Webb, in Edinburgh as a member of the FIFA delegation to the annual meeting of the law-making International Board, would have no hesitation in standing behind his own member association.
He said: “Historically the World Cup is always played in June and I would definitely like the World Cup to be played in June, we accepted it.
“We went through a long process regarding that [and] I do know from within my confederation that we were obviously disappointed the United States were unsuccessful.
“For me it is over with and the World Cup has been decided.
“We all knew the World Cup was going to be played in June and July and as far as I am concerned, that’s accepted.”
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