DOHA - Mohammed Bin Hammam, the Qatari
president of the Asian Football Confederation, has said the 2022
World Cup hosts will resist efforts to reschedule the tournament
in the winter.
"We submitted a bid suggesting we are going to be ready in
June and July. And we said we are going to face all the
challenges and we are going to meet all the requirements," Bin
Hammam told Sky News.
"Our focus is June, July. It is never our interest to change
one week beyond June and July."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter told reporters last week that he
expected the World Cup to be moved to the winter months but
added the world governing body could not act unless the Qatari
FA asked them for permission.
Confusingly, Blatter also said that FIFA had the final say
in all matters relating to the staging of the World Cup,
implying that even if Qatar did not ask for it to be moved FIFA
could still do so.
Bin Hammam, who is considering standing against Blatter in
June's FIFA presedential election, added that the structure of
Fifa is "not helpful or useful to our world".
In another twist UEFA president Michel Platini said this
week that Qatar could share the World Cup with some of its
neighbours in the Gulf, another suggestion rejected by bin
Hamamm who said: "Qatar can stand alone and organise the
competition by itself."
Afshin Ghotbi, the influential manager of Iran told Reuters
in an interview on Thursday, if FIFA wanted the World Cup to be
co-hosted, then it should be put back to tender among the
bidding nations who lost out to Qatar in the vote.
"Qatar has shown it can host it, so it should be here and it
should be in the winter time - that is a logical change, but it
is not fair to talk about changing the venues at this stage," he
In an interview with CNN on Thursday Blatter said that the FIFA executive committee "vote more with their heart than they
vote with their head".
He said it "would be unfair" to hold a Qatar World Cup in
the summer if it were possible to do so in January.
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