Asian leader wants Europe to push for winter WCup

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.