(ATR) Qatari organizers tell Around the Rings they have no intention of switching the 2022 FIFA World Cup from summer to winter months.
UEFA president Michel Platini this week reportedly restated his desire to see the tournament moved from the sizzling heat of a Qatari summer to the winter months. He has made repeated calls for the change since the oil-rich nation secured the World Cup in December 2010.
Former FIFA Ex-Co member Franz Beckbauer is among other leading football executives as well as FIFPro, the worldwide players' union, who have supported Platini’s stance. They point to the health risks for players of training and competing in June-July temperatures that can soar to 50 ºC.
But Qatar World Cup organizers are not bowing to pressure.
"Our position hasn't changed," the 2022 tournament organizers told ATR in a statement.
"We've always reiterated that we entered the bidding race with the intention of hosting in the summer and are continuing with our plans to deliver a World Cup in the summer unless there is a unified consensus among the international football community for alternative plans."
For more on the story, visit World Football INSIDER.
FIVB Congress Underway
A record 201 countries are represented at the 33rd FIVB World Congress underway in Anaheim, California.
Mayor Tom Tait, IOC member Mrs.Anita DeFrantz, U.S. Olympic Committee chair Larry Probst and USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal were among the speakers during Wednesday’s opening ceremony at Disneyland Hotel.
Jizhong Wei also delivered his final report as FIVB president, telling his colleagues: "When I try to sum up all of the reforms, I am fully aware of the fact that they have all been accomplished through your support and execution.
"I said that I was only a president of transition, but that I was determined to make the FIVB more transparent and democratic – to make the FIVB a real non-profit sports institution and bring it back into the Olympic family. I pledged not to seek re-election, not to be guided by personal interest and to rely on collective leadership to avoid mistakes and wrongdoings."
Wei’s reforms will come to fruition Friday when the FIVB holds its first-ever contested election.
Beal is one of the candidates, as is Australian Volleyball Federation chief Chris Schacht and South American Volleyball Confederation president Ary Graca.
In the meantime, the Congress elected Shanrit Wongprasert of Thailand, Habu Gumel of Nigeria, Viviane Bosmans of Belarus, Julio Perez Alfaro of Uruguay and Saul Castro Verdugo of Mexico as scrutineers for Friday’s election.
An accounts report for 2010-2011, external audit report for 2010-2011, internal audit report, investment report, development report and budget for 2013-2015 were also approved during Wednesday’s session.
The entirety of the Congress, including Friday’s election, is available for livestreaming on the FIVB’s website.
UCI Awards 2016 Road WC, Signs TV Distribution Deal
Add the 2016 World Road Cycling Championships to Qatar’s coming decade of sport.
The International Cycling Union announced Wednesday that Doha will stage the annual event after Florence, Italy in 2013; Ponferrada, Spain in 2014; and Richmond, Virginia in 2015.
"We are proud of the confidence placed in the State of Qatar," said bid chairman and NOC secretary general Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Qatar will also host the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in 2014, the IHF Men’s Handball World Championships in 2015 and the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Doha 2016, the first World Road Cycling Championships in the Middle East, will be broadcast worldwide thanks to a media rights distribution deal inked Thursday between the UCI and Infront Sports & Media.
The agreement spans 2013 to 2016 and includes coverage of the UCI Road, Track, Mountain Bike and BMX World Championships as well as the UCI Track Cycling World Cup.
Written by Mark Bisson and Matthew Grayson
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