LONDON (Reuters) - Following is reaction to FIFA’s recommendation on Tuesday to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in November and December.
FIFA Presidential candidate Luis Figo:
“The FIFA Task Force recommendation is the right decision for the World Cup. It has to be played in the best possible conditions for the fans and players who will enjoy a great World Cup atmosphere, and for Qatar who deserve to be put in the position to organize a great event. With good will and a sense of solidarity it is always possible to find the right solutions.”
European Clubs’ Association (ECA):
“For the soccer family, the rescheduling of the FIFA World Cup 2022 presents a difficult and challenging task,” chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement.
“All match calendars across the world will have to accommodate such a tournament in 2022/23, which requires everyone’s willingness to compromise.
“European clubs and leagues cannot be expected to bear the costs for such rescheduling. We expect the clubs to be compensated for the damage that a final decision would cause.”
The German Football League (DFL):
“Staging the World Cup in November/December is an organizational as well as a financial burden for European leagues,” DFL managing director Andreas Rettig said.
“One also has to take into account the strain on top players. A shortened match plan cannot mean that there will be the same number of games to be played in a shorter period of time.”
English Premier League:
“The 2022 World Cup was bid for and awarded to Qatar as a summer tournament,” a spokesman said.
“The prospect of a winter World Cup is neither workable or desirable for European domestic soccer.”
World players’ union FIFPro:
“Changes to the match schedule that could potentially place extra strain on the workload of the players is for FIFPro to analyze together with all stakeholders in due course,” the organization said in a statement.
German Football Association (DFB):
“It is hard to get used to the idea that a World Cup final is to be held shortly before Christmas,” said President Wolfgang Niersbach, who leads the world’s largest single sports federation.
“But what is certain is that because of the enormous heat in the summer there can be no play and so there is no other alternative than to stage it in the winter. Now it is up to those planning the dates to find the best possible solutions which no doubt is not easy but is also not impossible.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:
“It’s impossible to play in the summer and I think it makes sense, if you want people to survive there, its the only way to have it in a comfortable way for the supporters.
“Thinking about the players — I am not worried — but you have to think about the supporters.”
“Once Qatar was chosen for the World Cup in 2022 everyone know they would have to adapt to that decision and that it would be impossible to play in the summer.
“Everyone will have to re-organize their fixtures and their season, that will not be easy.”
“Given the climate in Qatar, playing in the summer at temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius would be a huge problem as it would pose a serious health risk and result in a deteriorated quality of soccer,” vice-president Savo Milosevic said.
“So switching it to November and December is a good decision in my opinion and one that would also play into Serbia’s hands if we qualify because it would practically coincide with our winter break.”
“I imagine the big European soccer nations are not so pleased because it would disrupt their national leagues but the 2022 World Cup is seven years away and I think they have enough time to readjust.”
Editing by Ed Osmond