Qatar World Cup Rescheduling to Be Discussed With European Clubs

A group representing European soccer clubs will meet with officials from the sport’s governing body to discuss switching the dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter because of extreme heat in the emirate.

Michele Centenaro, general secretary of the European Club Association, told reporters in Barcelona today he would be one of its two representatives at the meetings with the so-called Qatar 2022 Task Force sessions with FIFA.

The meetings are scheduled for September and November, Centenaro said.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in October the soccer ruling body would consult players, clubs, leagues and media about changing the dates of the tournament.

A date change could set up conflict with England’s Premier League and other European championships, forcing them to rearrange their schedules. Broadcasters, including Fox Sports in the U.S., have complained about rescheduling because games might conflict with other sports.

FIFA executives picked Qatar as host ahead of Australia, Japan and South Korea and the U.S., even after an evaluation report by the soccer authority’s own officials that said it was a “potential health risk” for players and fans for matches to be held there in June and July.

Qatar organizers say temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) could be mitigated by air conditioning systems in stadiums, although they are open to changing the dates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at aduff4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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