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Blackpool boss Ian Holloway opposes winter World Cup


Holloway rants over 'crazy' Fifa plan

Playing the 2022 World Cup in winter has received a mixed reaction from Premier League bosses, with Blackpool manager Ian Holloway slamming the idea.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has given his backing to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being switched to winter because of the country's intensely hot summers.

The tournament traditionally starts in June but temperatures in Qatar at that time of year can reach 40C and 50C.

"I think the world has gone completely on its head," said Holloway.

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke also supports the prospect of the 2022 World Cup being rescheduled.


In the vote by Fifa's executive committee on 2 December in Zurich, Qatar beat Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to host the tournament.

Initially, former German World Cup-winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer had aired his worries about the health risk of the heat to players if the World Cup was staged during the Gulf nation's summer.

Uefa president Michel Platini also recently suggested the idea of moving the 2022 World Cup to December or January.

"It's crazy," added Holloway.

"We'll just change everything because their weather is really hot.

"What happens to our football and everybody else's that would be playing through it? Do we just stop for a while? Genius, absolutely magnificent.

"I'm going to go home and tell my turkeys, 'It's not Christmas, we're moving it - it's all right, you've got some respite! I've had a word with Fifa and we're going to move Christmas, it's no problem'."

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy was also opposed to the idea and echoed the opinions of his Blackpool counterpart.

"I think it's stupid and I think the more airtime he [Blatter] gets, he makes it worse for himself," said McCarthy.

"Taking the World Cup around the globe is one thing, but taking it to a place that's 50 degrees in the summer, or whatever it is, is nonsense.

"Then saying 'we'll all shut our leagues and play in the winter' is even more nonsense.

"I await the next instalment next week and I can boot that into touch as well."

Blatter backs winter World Cup in 2022

Avram Grant, the Israeli manager of West Ham, said the implications were great but that it would be a good thing.

"I like the idea that the World Cup is in Qatar because it's good for the Middle East," said Grant.

"I think that, on the football side, it's very good when you play a World Cup in places like Africa and other countries in good weather.

"For Qatar it looks a good idea but you have to reshuffle all the international calendar."

Chelsea's Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti said his experience as a player in the intense heat of USA '94 had persuaded him of the merits of the plan.

He said: "It will not be easy to manage the team if there is a break in January for the World Cup."

"If you ask me as a player, it's better to play in January, obviously.

"It's impossible to play 50 degrees. I had that experience in the USA in 1994 and it's impossible to play at 12 o'clock and 40 degrees on the pitch."

But Everton manager David Moyes said moving the World Cup would have major implications.

He said: "They would need to shut down the whole of the English Premier League, wouldn't they?

"I am sure that would be the case if England qualified. And if England didn't qualify it makes you wonder if they would be able to shut it down - because there would be a lot of foreign players having to go out.

"It is a difficult one to work out what they would do."

And Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp said it would be impossible to play a summer World Cup in Qatar, meaning Fifa may have no choice but to switch to a winter tournament.

"If you've been to that place in the summer you can't go there," said Redknapp.

"You can book the cheapest holiday in the world if you want to go to Dubai in June or July. It's a quarter of the price of the rest of the year. People don't go there, you can't stand the heat.

"How are you going to run around playing football, I don't know.

"If they play the World Cup there they are going to have to come up with something. It would be such a disadvantage for European teams. I don't know how they would possibly cope."

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see also
Holloway rants over 'crazy' Fifa plan
17 Dec 10 |  Blackpool
Blatter expects January World Cup
07 Jan 11 |  Football
Platini open to World Cup change
10 Dec 10 |  Football
Opoku revels in Qatar World Cup
03 Dec 10 |  African
Blatter brands England bad losers
08 Dec 10 |  Football
Fifa to keep Cup voting process
06 Dec 10 |  Football
Anson floats Fifa reform proposal
04 Dec 10 |  Football
Russia & Qatar to host World Cups
02 Dec 10 |  Football

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