EPL TO ACCEPT WINTER WORLD CUP
Outgoing English Premier League chairman Dave Richards believes his organisation will have to drop its resistance to the idea of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being played in the European winter.
English football is unusual among the continent's major leagues in having no winter break and many Premier League officials are determined nothing will happen to disrupt the lucrative competition from running as normal.
But there is growing global momentum behind the idea the intense heat in Qatar during June and July, when a World Cup might usually be expected to be staged, risks the heath of both players and fans exposed to temperatures of 50C and so makes a switch to a 'winter' date all the more inevitable.
Richards, speaking to Sky Sports News at the Securing Sport conference in Qatar, said: "I think they will play (the World Cup) at a time that is proper for football but they will have to speak to the leagues in Europe.
"They will have to agree proper times when we can start and finish.
"At the moment it has a tremendous amount of implications for Europe. For us, at this minute, the answer is no.
"But, if we take a proper view, we have to find a way to have a winter spell where we don't play and I think common sense will prevail.
"We've got Fifa now saying that medical people are saying that they can't play in Qatar in the summer because of the heat, which is probably right.
"I think over the next few years, things will change and they will come to a compromise."
However, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has always been adamantly against such a switch and a Premier League spokesman said Tuesday their position had not altered.
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