FIFA: no club compensation for Winter World Cup

Football clubs won't be compensated for losing players or schedule disruptions should Qatar World Cup take place in winter 2022

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke (R) and Hassan al-Thawadi, head of the Qatar 2022 World Cup organising committee. Image: Getty
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke (R) and Hassan al-Thawadi, head of the Qatar 2022 World Cup organising committee. Image: Getty

Football's world governing body FIFA has said that football clubs will not be compensated should the 2022 World Cup in Qatar be moved from summer to winter.

A FIFA taskforce yesterday met in Qatar to suggest the tournament be moved to the Middle East winter months when temperatures are more moderate. Summer heat in Qatar can exceed 50 degrees Celcius, but temperatures in winter are vastly more tolerable for players and spectators.

European clubs are strongly opposed to the move because it affects their own leagues and competitions – but FIFA has shot down any suggestion that they will be compensated.

The organisation's secretary general Jerome Valcke told reporters that no payments would be made by FIFA at all.

He told reporters, "There will be no compensation. I mean, they have seven years to reorganise football around the world for this World Cup," he said.

"It's not perfect, we know that, but why are we talking about compensation? It's happening once, we're not destroying football.

"Why should we apologise to the clubs? We have had an agreement with the clubs that they are part of the beneficiaries. It was $40m (£25.8m) in 2010 and $70m (£45m) in 2014."

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore told the BBC that “It’s the European leagues that are suffering the most.”

"Our particular concern is that a World Cup that finishes late in December could result in damaging one of the English game's great traditions and attractions, with the removal of the entire Premier League, Football League and FA Cup Christmas and New Year fixture programme that season,” he added.

Valke also said that the World Cup final was looking likely on 23 December 2022. Uefa and other confederations are keen on the idea – but 18 December 2022 was also a possibility.

He also said the tournament would run for 28 days instead of the usual 31-32 days, meaning more games would be played per day.

Qatar, meanwhile, is projected to spend well over $70bn on transport and infrastructure projects over the next seven years as it builds towards the Cup. Independent estimates pin to total cost of construction projects and other preparations for the event – the first of its kind in the Middle East – at around $200bn.




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