NYON: UEFA president Michel Platini has expressed his annoyance at the comments about the timing of the 2022 World Cup by Jerome Valcke writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Yesterday Valcke, world federation FIFA’s secretary-general, said he considered the most appropriate timing for the finals in Qatar would be between November 15 and January 15.
Valcke, speaking on France Inter, quoted temperature figures for the Gulf in insisting that the traditional June/July summer date was impossible.
FIFA’s executive committee had decided, last October, to set in train a worldwide consultation process which was designed, also, to take the heat out a debate which was proving a distraction from the imminent 2014 finals in Brazil.
In November in Abu Dhabi, on the eve of the World Under-17s final, Blatter said: “In our executive committee we decided to start consultations to try to bring this World Cup into the winter and it can only be November-December and not in January-February.”
A senior FIFA media official tried at first to deny Blatter had made his comments but at least no such total denial followed Valcke’s words.
Platini, a possible contender for the FIFA presidency next year, was reported in Paris sports daily L’Equipe as being unhappy with Valcke’s intervention.
He said: “When the executive committee was held in early October, it was decided to launch a major consultation of all football and no decision would be taken before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“It was also agreed not to talk about this before then.
“I do not see why it is discussed publicly. Two months Blatter spoke about it. Now it’s Valcke. This is supposed to be a decision for the executive committee of FIFA. But maybe the executive committee doesn’t matter.
“If the decision has already been taken then it does not even need to meet, except for those people who enjoy chatting.”
Platini has never made a secret of the fact that he voted for Qatar or that he has always campaigned for a winter hosting.
However, he added: “This is my personal opinion . . . but we have to consult the entire football family before making a decision.”