2022 World Cup could be co-hosted, says Platini

Nyon: UEFA president Michel Platini has said that he believes the 2022 World Cup could be shared by Qatar with other countries in the region.

"The World Cup is Qatar`s but I think maybe it could be the World Cup of the Gulf," he told reporters during an informal briefing at UEFA headquarters, without naming any potential co-hosts.

Although Qatar bid to stage the World Cup on its own in 2022 in the summer, the Frenchman said he did not see any problem in making changes to the tournament once the decision had been made.

"When we held the World Cup in 1998, we made lots of changes to the original plan," he said.

Platini, who is also a member of the FIFA executive committee which chose Russia as 2018 hosts, reiterated his view that soccer`s governing body had been right to take the tournament to new regions.

The Frenchman has already said he would be happy to see the tournament staged in January or February rather than June.

Players and coaches have expressed concern about conditions in the Middle East summer even though Qatar has promised to build air-conditioned stadiums using cutting-edge technology."

Platini said he could not explain why England had only received two out of 22 votes in the 2018 contest and Australia only one in the 2022 contest despite having technically strong bids in both cases.

"I don`t know, people made a choice...it`s like going into a restaurant," he said.

"You can choose beef, fish, chicken or veal, but you can`t always explain why you choose one and not the other."

Platini then questioned the foreign ownership of football clubs in the English Premier League and said Spain was his favourite model.

"I think the owner of the club has to have some kind of identity with the region and with the supporters," he said. "I like the Spanish system, where the supporters are also members of the club."

Platini, who will stand unopposed to retain the presidency of UEFA in 2015, shrugged when asked if he intended to one day run for FIFA presidency.

"How can I talk about being president of FIFA when I want to be president of UEFA until 2015," he said.

Bureau Report

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