Blazer Angry At Winter World Cup Talk
Wednesday, 19th January 2011 at 11:04am
Chuck Blazer, a US representative on the Fifa Executive Committee (ExCo) which voted to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup Finals in Qatar in December, has hit out at those suggesting that the finals be moved to the winter to avoid exposing players to temperatures in excess of 50 degrees Celsius, arguing that the move could take up to 10 weeks out of the domestic football season.
He also believes that the idea of moving the world cup to the cooler winter months was discussed informally among Fifa members before the vote.
Following the vote in Zurich on December 2, several leading figures with football's governing body - including Fifa President Sepp Blatter - have suggested that the finals might be moved to January.
"If you look at the timing of some of these announcements; pronouncements immediately after the vote from (Franz) Beckenbauer and (Michel) Platini and everyone else one after another, I am sure that these were ideas that had been discussed before," Blazer told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
As former players, Platini and Beckenbauer are thought to be most strongly behind the idea to move the finals to the cooler month in a bid to protect the players, something which should have been taken into consideration before votes were cast.
"The issue of the heat trouble were never addressed by the candidate... there was a certain incongruity to me that there are people who are really dedicated to their teams and to the sport who were not having any difficulty with the idea of playing in that level of heat on an ongoing basis throughout the tournament," said Blazer.
"They very quickly, after the fact, made these statements saying 'oh yeah let's just switch.' I have some level of difficulty with that," he added.
The US finished second in the voting behind Qatar who spent millions of dollars to secure the right to host the finals.
Blazer also believes that moving the finals to January will have huge implications for domestic football all around the world.
"This isn't a matter of taking four weeks out of the winter and saying here is the World Cup. It is more a matter, at that point, of taking 10 weeks out of the winter and saying here, we are carving out an entire new summer in order to have proper preparation for the teams." he said.