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Bundesliga chief slams Qatar World Cup scheduling

Bundesliga chief executive Christian Seifert has slammed FIFA’s decision to host World Cup 2022 in Qatar during the country’s summer.

Traditionally, the quadrennial showcase tournament is held during June and July.

However, numerous senior football figures have called for FIFA to break with that tradition due to predicted extremely high temperatures in the country during those months.

And Seifert has expressed his dismay at what he described as a “political” decision.

“If you make a decision which is so far away from a sporting perspective, if it is so politically driven, it is wrong. Maybe FIFA should change the claim (on its logo), this is not ‘for the good of the game’,” Seifert told reporters in London on Wednesday.

“I am convinced it is hard, if not impossible, to play a World Cup in the summer in Qatar. In Germany it was a special atmosphere, but I doubt that could work in 48 degree heat. Summer in Qatar is not the right time.

“The priority is the health of the players, and a decision was made here which ignores the health of the players.”

Despite Seifert’s doubts about a summer tournament in Qatar, he also expressed his opinion that FIFA would be treading on thin legal ice if it chooses to change to the winter months in 2022.

“I am not sure if legally it can be played in the winter; the lawyers will decide in the end if it has to go to a re-vote,” Seifert said.

“Talking to other leagues, I have the feeling they are very upset the decision was taken, that a four-week tournament will affect three years of leagues. This shows me FIFA as a body deciding what is good for the game, ignoring the day-to-day business of leagues.”

Seifert was in London ahead of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich’s clash on Saturday in the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley.

Thu 23 May, 2013
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