DUBAI - England manager Fabio Capello has
backed calls to play the 2022 World Cup during the winter,
fearing that Qatar's ferocious heat could force players to spend
weeks couped up in hotels if the tournament is held in summer.
Capello said that building air conditioned stadiums for the
event would not be enough.
"It will not be easy for the players to stay all day in the
hotel, you can't run around the hotel," he told reporters at an
event in Dubai on Tuesday.
"It's a big problem, not only for the training, you have to
spend the time, all the day in the hotel, you can't go around to
relax, to do something different.
"When you stay together for long time you need to relax to
do something different, not only training or playing," he added.
"That's why I think it would be a good idea to play in January
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said he would not object to
a January-February World Cup and UEFA president Michel Platini
is also sympathetic to the idea.
On Tuesday, Asian Football Federation president Mohammed Bin
Hamman, a Qatari, reiterated his country's view that June and
July would not be a problem.
"I believe our country has submitted a bid where they would
like to organise and host the World Cup in June/July and they
have actually presented also the solution for the heat
challenges," he said.
"So our country actually is ready and willing to host a very
comfortable World Cup in the summer season."
But he declined to write off the winter alternative.
"The month of January is a sort of dead season, most of the
leagues in Europe are suspended, they are not playing during
that time," he said.
"It's not going to affect practically, the leagues or the
clubs if they played the World Cup in January."
However, Barcelona president Sandro Rosell said a
January/February tournament would disrupt the Spanish season
which does not have a winter break.
"I have to stand up for the Spanish league. The World Cup
has to be in June, July," he said. "I don't like to break the
Spanish league because it's one of the leagues in Europe that
continues in January."
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