NYON: UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino has followed his boss, Michel Platini, in endorsing the  idea of a winter World Cup in Qatar for 2022.

Infantino suggested all tournaments should be played in the most suitable weather in the host country, echoing the rephrasing of the World Cup award rules in the new statutes of world federation FIFA.

He made the comment despite clear indications that all Europe’s major leagues would have to write off the match schedules for all of November and December of 2022

Qatar is preparing to spend £65 billion on air-conditioned stadiums and other facilities but Infantino believes there is a more commonsense approach.

“Whenever you play the World Cup should be the best period for it,” he said. “I had the same reflections on South Africa in 2010. Four years earlier in Germany it was nice sunshine. South Africa is a beautiful country, but at five o’clock, it’s night and it’s 0C. It’s not a celebration of football.”

Infantino – in a curious observation for a senior football official – went on to say that he did not understand why football had been historically played in winter.

“You see people in stadiums with hats and scarves,” he said. “Why did England, who brought to us this beautiful game, decide that football is for the winter and not for the summer? Cricket.

“The month of June, which is the most beautiful month to play football, is hardly ever used except for the Euros and the World Cup. But the World Cup is played only every 12 years, more of less, in Europe.

“I fully share this view that you have to play in the best period for football; that is not June or July in Qatar. This is an issue that FIFA has to sort out. The sooner they do it, the better. The decision for 2022 was taken in 2010, so in 12 years you can organise yourself.”


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