World Cup

Dyke insistent on 2022 World Cup host

COLD FEET
It seems likely that the 2022 World Cup will be held in the Qatari winter.
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FA chairman Greg Dyke has insisted that the 2022 World Cup must be held during the winter months in Qatar, and has dismissed ideas that the tournament will be moved to a different country.

Concerns have been raised surrounding the high levels of heat during a Qatar summer, the season in which the tournament has been held since it's inception in 1930. In response, the idea to hold the tournament in the winter, at which point the heat in the country would be more suitable, has been raised.

The idea has, however, come under heavy criticism, but FA chairman Dyke has claimed that the tournament will go ahead in the winter despite concerns from some of Europe's leading organisations, who are worried over the levels of disruption that holding the tournament later in the year will cause to national leagues.

"Anyone who has been to Qatar in the summer knows that you cannot hold a football tournament there," he said. "Even if you can have air-conditioned stadiums, how do the fans get in and out? At these major tournaments, you can queue for an hour. Queueing for an hour in the summer in Qatar would be pretty dangerous.

Dyke added: "However it is pretty clear now that tournament will not be held in Qatar in the summer and we should all welcome that. Now the discussion start about when it is held, assuming it stays in Qatar, and I think we can assume it will.

"This decision will be taken by FIFA. They have now set a working party. Within a year they will make that decision; this thing will still be eight years away."

It has been suggested in some quarters that the tournament should be moved from the Gulf sovereign state altogether, but Dyke maintains that that is an unlikely scenario.

"Getting out of this would be quite difficult legally," the FA chief said. "Qatar bid through the proper process and they won. I think we all look today and say 'Isn't it a bit odd that they won?' but you have got to have reason to change it.

"The weather isn't a reason to do that because we all knew about the weather when the decision was made. There was a report."

Sunil Gulati, the president of the United States Soccer Federation, who joined the FIFA executive committee in April, told reporters in response to Dyke's comments: "I did not see him at the meeting last week when we set up the task force so I am not sure how he is so sure.

"There is no agreed consensus or agreement yet on what is going to be a very important review of when the World Cup will be staged."

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