Platini happy to change calendar for 2022 WC
Kiev (Ukraine): UEFA President Michel Platini is willing to reschedule Europe`s football calendar to allow the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be played in the winter.
Speaking a year to the day since Qatar was controversially awarded football`s biggest tournament, Platini said matches in sweltering summer temperatures in the tiny Middle Eastern emirate would be unfair on players and spectators.
"We have to think about everybody, what would be better for the World Cup in Qatar," the former France forward said in an interview with Al-Jazeera. "How you can bring the people and say you will go in June (to) Qatar when it`s 50 degrees?”
"The people, they come (for) three weeks or two weeks with 60 degrees, they (would) never go outside the hotel. It (is) not correct."
Not only would playing the World Cup in the winter involve moving the dates of the Champions League and Europa League UEFA`s flagship club competitions, it would also eat into the schedule of many of the domestic leagues in Europe.
However, Platini said the World Cup "is the best moment in football."
"I think we have to adapt (to) when is the best moment and where is the best moment to play this World Cup in Qatar," he said.
Qatar beat off competition from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to land the 2022 tournament, becoming the smallest country ever to host the World Cup.
Platini, who could be president of FIFA by 2022 if he succeeds Sepp Blatter in 2015, was happy to give Qatar his vote, though.
"For me, I voted for Qatar because I think it (is) nice to go to another part of the world, with people who never received the World Cup," said Platini said.
"They lost five times with Morocco, with Egypt. And I think it was nice to come to Russia in Europe (in 2018). They`ve never received (the World Cup) in the east of Europe."