Saturday 18 November 2017

Eamon Dunphy: A World Cup in December will destroy football in Europe for at least two years

See Blatter and (inset) Eamon Dunphy
See Blatter and (inset) Eamon Dunphy
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Eamon Dunphy has hit out at FIFA, claiming that the proposed 2022 Winter World Cup in Qatar makes no sense and will decimate the top leagues in Europe.

A FIFA task force announced in Doha this morning that they have recommended that the Qatar World Cup be a shortened tournament taking place in November and December.

FIFA's executive committee meeting in Zurich on March 19 and 20 will make the final decision after the task force recommended "end-November/end-December as the most viable period for the 2022 FIFA World Cup".

On Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1, Dunphy pulled no punches in his criticism of FIFA and, in particular, Sepp Blatter.

 “Qatar has no tradition of football played there. It really is a bizarre place to even contemplate playing a World Cup. As you know the Sunday Times’ investigation into this bid revealed serious allegations of corruption.

“FIFA were forced to appoint an American lawyer, Michael Garcia, to conduct an independent investigation. He did, his findings have not been published.

“Qatar is gas rich and has big money. Money talked.

“Revelations of corruption in the Sunday Times are pretty convincing but they are only allegations but the footballing reasons – you simply couldn’t play it in the summer – so how that decision was ever taken is really unbelievable.”

And outspoken pundit Dunphy strongly believes that a World Cup played in the middle of the domestic seasons in Europe will have serious repercussions.

“This proposal now is only a proposal by FIFA, it hasn’t been accepted yet. It will destroy European football for two seasons at least.

“They are talking about shortening it by a few days but there will still be 32 nations and there will still be 64 matches and it will last for a month.

“The months before, players will have to be in camp, that’s from the beginning of October and then of course after the tournament they would have to have their rest for maybe a month.

“So you are talking about closing down European football for three months, maybe a little bit longer, decimating all the domestic leagues and the Champions league, and playing catch up then, which you couldn’t do, for the rest of the season, spilling over into the new season. It’s recipe for chaos and it makes no sense.

“The final would be played on the 23rd of December. This is surreal, it’s mad, for what? There is another issue of the death of migrant workers who are build the infrastructure for this tournament.

“We have to draw a line somewhere and I think this is where the line needs to be drawn."

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