GENEVA (AP) — Leading clubs expect UEFA to decide next week on European football's position in the debate about switching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from the summer to a different time of year.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter, meanwhile, made it clear Tuesday he doesn't think selecting Qatar as host was a mistake. However, he favors a move to winter and FIFA will discuss the issue in October.
European Club Association Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge cautioned Tuesday to proceed "carefully" when the discussion is scheduled at a meeting of UEFA's strategy council in Dubrovnik, Croatia on Sept. 19.
Though the panel is chaired by UEFA President Michel Platini, who favors a winter World Cup, it includes delegates from the 214-member ECA and European leagues' body (EPFL) which include some of the fiercest opponents to changing the traditional June-July dates.
"We will discuss it deeply and hopefully we will find a solution that is accepted by all stakeholders," said Rummenigge, the Bayern Munich chairman whose personal pro-winter view is opposed by many member clubs who re-elected him Tuesday.
When asked whether he thought that awarding the tournament to Qatar was a mistake, Blatter didn't hesitate to express his denial.
"No," he told The Associated Press in Buenos Aires, where he is attending meetings of the International Olympic Committee. "This is a topic that I will present after the meeting of FIFA's executive board in October. We will discuss all of this."
FIFA's 27-member executive committee, including eight UEFA officials, should decide on Oct. 3-4 that the tournament cannot be played in Qatar's searing summer heat. Blatter told the AP last month that his board would probably oppose summer on principle and request a widespread consultation on finding a better time to play.
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