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Winter World Cup? Is it a good idea?

Feature 23 Jul 2013, 20:06 IST
Qatar 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar

You have to wonder why FIFA always like to do it the hard way. Their ideas are always strange, but this one seems to have beaten all the previous ones!

So now, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar might take place in the winter. On first glance, this idea seems crazy. How could a World Cup be in the winter? The traditional World Cup summer- what happened to that?

Well, the main premise behind this decision seems to be something very fundamental- temperature. Which makes sense really- one cannot play football when the temperatures are around 50 degrees Celsius. One would be mad to consider it: the players would die if they carry on physical activities as intense as that in such environments.

Air conditioned stadiums might be a possibility, but there arise questions like, whether they are feasible, how effective will they be and well, the rather embarrassing one of what one does if the systems fail. But even if nothing untoward such as this occurs, the country will still be pretty hot. As Sepp Blatter said, ‘You can cool down the stadiums, but not the entire country!’

Yes, carrying out a major event like a World Cup in that climate will be impossible. Nobody would enjoy in those temperatures, people would fall sick due to heat strokes and the number of people in the country for the event will drastically reduce. In winter though, temperatures are pleasant. And I for one don’t doubt even for an instant Qatar’s ability to carry off this event .

The Premier League though has gone absolutely crazy about the change in schedule, and has done the equivalent of brandishing swords and holding them to the necks of the FIFA officials. And it is only a matter of time before the other European football associations follow suit.

They don’t want the World Cup to disrupt their schedule, which will go haywire for three years if the World Cup comes in the middle of their season in December or January. But then so many nations interrupt their national leagues in the summer for the usual World Cup, so why can’t, for once, the European nations do so?

It might actually be beneficial for them. Most of the top players play in European Leagues, and they will be in better condition in mid-season, rather than post-season, where so many injuries arise, not to mention fatigue.

Yes, many nations like Sweden will benefit from a Winter World Cup because their season ends in November [or will they?] but then at some point in time we have to put world football before our leagues- something the game needs for so long- and think of the bigger picture.

It is time, I would say, that we consider new ideas with an open mind, and also adapt, because not only will it help stage the World Cup, it will also make us realize how competent we are even if the league schedules are totally disrupted.

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