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Gullit backs Qatar winter World Cup

Former Netherlands international Ruud Gullit has backed calls for the 2022 Qatar World Cup to be held in the region’s winter months.

Speaking at the Aspire4Sport conference in Doha, Gullit urged FIFA not to stage the World Cup in June in 2022, when temperatures in the gulf state reach around 50 degrees celsius.

“I hope they will play (the 2022 World Cup) in the winter time even though I know they have the capacity and also the technology to do it in the summer for the players,” Gullit said on Tuesday.

“But I’m not so much worried about the players. I’m much more worried about the fans – who will want to go out, and not stay all of the time in their hotels or in the shopping malls.

“They’ll want to go out, play golf, play tennis, and go out. That is the issue. Therefore, I hope the World Cup will be carried out in the winter time.”

The European Cup winner with AC Milan also had a word of warning for his former club, encouraging them to focus on ‘balancing the books’.

“They (Milan) have sold all of their most important players and they were unable to buy any experienced players back because they wanted to have a balance with their books and the money,” he said.

“I think it’s the right thing for Milan to do. The other thing is people are not used to seeing Milan suffering like this but it is just a matter of time and they will come back.

“In my time, they could buy players. I was one of the highest-paid players and the transfer was the highest at the time – 14 million guilder, that’s about six million euros. Can you imagine? It shows how times change.”

Meanwhile, former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez says he is waiting for the right club before making a return to management.

Benitez hinted at a return to the Premier League, but won’t rule out managing in one of Europe’s other top leagues so long as the right opportunity presents itself.

“I am waiting for the right offer and you have to be watching games all of the time and analysing them,” the 2005 Champions League-winning manager said.

“I’m watching players and trying to enjoy football but, at the same time, keeping an eye on players that would maybe be great for another team, or my team, in the future.

“The idea is to challenge for trophies. So I would have to manage a top side and in a good country that you can compete in, and the football would be professional and serious.

“It’s not just to find a job. It’s to find a club that can compete and can do things in the proper way.

“The priority could be the Premier League because my family is there and I have been there for years.

“But I like Spain, I like the Bundesliga, I like Italy. So a lot of countries can be good and, again, it depends on the offers.”

Tue 13 November, 2012
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