Sunday 26 January 2020

Boyce: FIFA should delay WC call

Britain's FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce believes the world governing body should delay any detailed decision on moving the 2022 World Cup until there has been full consultation with the game's stakeholders.

FIFA's executive committee is due to start a two-day meeting in Zurich with the issue of the 2022 tournament in Qatar likely to be dealt with on Friday.

Boyce, from Northern Ireland, is prepared to back a decision in principle to move the World Cup to the winter to avoid the summer heat in Qatar but thinks it is too early to decide on the exact timing.

He told Press Association Sport: "I wouldn't object to taking a decision on moving it in principle - I think nearly everybody is agreed on that.

"But I don't think we can make any decision on the exact timing - should it be in November, January or whenever - until we have got everyone in the game around the table to find a solution."

UEFA's 54 member associations have already backed the principle of playing in winter, a proposal championed by the European body's president Michel Platini, a FIFA vice-president.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter is expected to ask the executive committee to agree to move the tournament in principle.

But Platini has said he was more concerned with dealing with the findings of an investigation last week which uncovered appalling treatment of migrant workers in Qatar.

He said: "I'm much more concerned about that than the discussion about summer and winter.

"There will be no decision. It is impossible. We must wait to see what proposal president Blatter will bring to the executive committee."

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Football League has claimed that FIFA should run the vote for the 2022 World Cup again rather than switch it to the winter.

Greg Clarke, the Football League chairman who was part of England's 2018 bid delegation three years ago when Qatar won the vote for 2022, said it would be unfair on the losing bids to now switch the timing of the World Cup.

Clarke told Press Association Sport: "My view is that it should be like any public tender process and if the tender isn't valid, then have a new one.

"Don't start fiddling at the edges. If the tender doesn't work, run a new one.

"There were some really good bids from people like Australia and the USA who spent a lot of money and have a great footballing culture and really wanted to run the World Cup, and they were excluded on the grounds that it was going to be in the summer and that it was going to be in Qatar.

"If I was them I would be less than happy if FIFA are now changing the rules, and my view is: run it again."

PA Media

The Left Wing: Schools rugby special - 'The St Michael’s dream team are the side to beat'

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport