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Premier League boss opposes World Cup date change

24 February 2015, 19:26

Doha - English Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said on Tuesday that all major European clubs are "very disappointed" by moves to hold the 2022 World Cup in November-December.

Scudamore, a member of the FIFA taskforce that met in Doha to recommend a date for the tournament in Qatar, also said he felt "let down" by UEFA over the dates.

"Yeah, very disappointed that's the word, I think, on behalf of the all the European leagues and particularly the European clubs who provide most of the players for this World Cup," said Scudamore.

Also read: European clubs want compensation over 2022 decision

Scudamore said that a November-December World Cup would cause the biggest disruption to England's top flight since it was started. "Of course," he told reporters.

And he added that it would be the European leagues and clubs that would "suffer the most".

"The idea that we turned up today, it was a pretty short meeting, to be told that it is going to happen in November and December is very disappointing.

"We had a consistent position all along and for the integrity of the football league to have to stop for six or seven weeks is less than ideal."

A source later told AFP that the dates proposed would see the tournament begin on November 26 with the final held on December 23, a timescale of just under four weeks.

Scudamore also pointed the finger at others being able to protect their competitions, while Europe's leagues had to give up space in their calendar, complaining that nobody else is "giving much up".

"FIFA keep their international dates, they keep their World Cup intact, even UEFA, who, I think, let us down a little bit, clearly pushed this...so their Champions League can start and carry on again, just like it always does."

And he added that there was little discussion during the meeting.

"We were pretty much told, hence the disappointment."

The decision to move the World Cup traditionally played in June and July has led to speculation that some European leagues would seek compensation.

But Scudamore said the Premier League has not been "talking about compensations" and would leave it "for others to go down that route."

UEFA's general secretary, Gianni Infantino, said his organisation supported moving the tournament but admitted "there is no ideal solution for everybody".

But he rejected the idea that there would be widescale problems from the decision.

"It is not going to cause chaos if for one year in 150 years of football you start the competitions a bit earlier and finish them a bit later. I don't think it is the end of the world."

He added that the decision would give "clarity" to the process and allowed everyone to have seven years to plan for the event.

"Let's just work around it, the World Cup is the World Cup."



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