Uefa members want winter World Cup


Europe’s 54 football nations met today in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and, although details are sketchy at the moment, they have broadly agreed to back moving the Qatar World Cup to winter.

Uefa president Michel Platini will be given a mandate to take to Fifa.

It is nearly three years since Qatar was awarded hosting rights for the 2022 tournament by a much-criticised Fifa board – several of whom have since left football amid corruption allegations.

“What has come out of this meeting is that the World Cup cannot be played in Qatar in the summer," Britain’s Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce says.

“Everyone was certainly in agreement about that.”

Uefa are still in conflict over whether the World Cup should be played in January 2022 or November and December of that year.

Uefa favour January, which would not impact the Uefa Champions League, while the British associations are unwilling to allow a December tournament, as they wish to protect their domestic league festive fixtures.

A World Cup in November/December 2022 would also come dangerously close to the Africa Cup of Nations in January/February 2023.

Boyce, who is also president of the Irish Football Association, adds that there is still a lot of time to work out the details.

“There is still nine years to go and people feel Fifa should sit down with all the major stakeholders and come up with a solution that would cause the minimum disruption to football,” he says.

“There is plenty of time to do that in my opinion, and hopefully football will be the winner.”

Fifa’s executive committee will meet in Zurich, Switzerland, on October 3, and is expected to agree in principle to move the World Cup to the winter.