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Winter World Cup in Qatar 'almost inevitable'
Sep 10, 2013 7:12 AM EST
European Clubs Association (ECA) senior vice-president Umberto Gandini says it is 'almost inevitable' Qatar's World Cup will be held in winter.
With concerns over the temperatures in the Middle East country during June and July, FIFA have been pushing for a move to cooler months to avoid the searing summer heat during the 2022 World Cup, which was awarded to Qatar in 2010.
While this would mean the competition taking place at the same time as the domestic football calendar in many countries, it increasingly appears this is the only option.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter is expected to propose a vote over the issue when the FIFA executive board meets in early October.
Milan director Gandini said the idea of the calendar remaining in permanent flux depending on where the World Cup is held is one that will alarm the leading European clubs.
But the senior official in the ECA, a coalition of 207 of the biggest clubs in Europe, hinted they would likely accept the Qatar switch providing it was simply a 'one-off'.
"I think it's important it's going to be a one-off and is not going to be something that's going to be there forever," Gandini said.
"If we have to find a one-off solution I think we will be able within the football family to find it but everybody has to be properly involved and we have to consider which is the best solution for football and the fans."
The English Premier League remains opposed to moving the tournament to winter but fears that opposition from other leagues in Europe is softening.
If the ECA accepts the shift, it could leave the Premier League increasingly isolated in their opposition to the switch.