Asian leader urges for winter World Cup

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A candidate for president of Asian soccer's governing body wants European leaders of the sport to urge FIFA to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to cooler winter months.

Yousuf al-Serkal of the United Arab Emirates said Wednesday that influential power brokers in Europe could lead the debate, which has gone on since FIFA's executive committee selected Qatar as the venue in December 2010.

''Major clubs from Europe and also major football federations should seek with FIFA to move this competition from the summer,'' Al-Serkal said in an interview with The Associated Press ahead of meeting FIFA President Sepp Blatter. ''I think the decision should be taken now.''

''It's not only for the success of the competition,'' Al-Serkal said, ''but also for the health of the participants, and what about the fans?''

Asian federations vote for the confederation president on May 2 and Al-Serkal is competing against Bahrain's Sheik Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa and Thailand's Worawi Makudi. Still, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke recently suggested medical advice could be cited to justify a move to winter.

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