9 Jan 2011

English football managers question winter World Cup

9:21 am on 9 January 2011

Arsene Wenger has led a chorus of English Premier League football managers who have questioned FIFA President Sepp Blatter's proposal to stage a winter World Cup in 2022.

FIFA chief Blatter said last week he "expects" the tournament in Qatar will be held in the northern winter months to avoid the searing summer temperatures which pose risks to players and fans alike.

But Blatter's comments have failed to impress club bosses in England, who have expressed doubts about the feasibility of restructuring the domestic football season to accommodate the global showpiece.

Wenger says "It looks like an idea that has come out of nowhere because nobody was told that when the bid was voted for.That is a bit of a surprise and certainly it would mean that the whole world of football has to be reorganised."

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce also wondered how the schedule in England and around the world could be successfully reorganised.

"What are we going to do with our league and what are they going to do with all the leagues around the world?" Bruce has asked.

Fulham boss Mark Hughes agreed a World Cup staged in January would likely mean that domestic campaigns would run until July of 2022.

"There must have been some thought gone into it or they would not have awarded the World Cup to Qatar in the first place."

Everton boss David Moyes meanwhile took aim at the fact that the dates for the tournament were now being shifted when bidding nations had campaigned on the basis of a tournament being held in the traditional June/July slot.

"Was everyone aware of that before they made their choice? Because I think if that had been put to the relevant countries, there may have been a lot of people not choosing Qatar," Moyes said.

FIFA's awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar -- a small oil-rich Gulf state where summer temperatures can exceed 40 degrees Celsius in summer months -- at a controversial vote in Zurich last month.