UEFA chiefs back winter World Cup in 2022

Updated 22 September 2013
0

UEFA chiefs back winter World Cup in 2022

DUBROVNIK, Croatia: The 54 member federations of European governing body UEFA are unanimously in favor “in principle” of moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to a different time of the year, UEFA president Michel Platini confirmed on Friday.
The tournament, which is usually held in June and July, would run into scorching temperatures in Qatar and governing officials, including Platini and world governing boss Sepp Blatter, have entertained the idea of switching the tournament to what would be the European winter season.
“Concerning the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, there are two things. First the FIFA president (Blatter) will speak about 2022 at the next FIFA executive committee meetings (Oct. 3 and 4 at Zurich).
“Also, the European federations have declared unanimously to be in agreement on the principle that they are not against playing the 2022 World Cup in winter, I said in principle, full stop.” added the Frenchman at the ongoing UEFA meeting in Croatia.
“We do not know what will happen with the executive committee of FIFA, so it is difficult to say, I would say that the ball is at the feet of the president of FIFA.” he added.
On Thursday, FIFA Vice-President Jim Boyce revealed that UEFA supported a move to winter and there was still plenty of time for all parties to agree.
Northern Irishman Boyce said that UEFA’s members want world governing body FIFA to speak to the game’s main stakeholders over when exactly the tournament should take place before announcing any alternative dates.
“What has come out of this meeting is an agreement by the UEFA countries that the World Cup cannot be played in Qatar in the summer. Everyone agreed on that,” Boyce told Sky Sports News.
“But we don’t want FIFA to make a decision yet about when exactly it will be played. We still have nine years to go and we think FIFA needs to help find a solution that will not cause too much disruption.
“There is plenty of time to do that.”
Qatar was awarded the right to host the 2022 tournament in 2010, but FIFA, UEFA and footballers’ union FIFPro have since called for it to be moved to a different time of year.
Mid-year temperatures in the Gulf can reach a sweltering 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), whereas the average highest temperature in winter is a markedly cooler 24 degrees Celsius.
However, proposals to change the date of the tournament have met with opposition from leading European clubs, who are concerned about disruption to their traditional calendars.
The chief executive of the money-spinning English Premier League, Richard Scudamore, has described the plans as “nigh-on impossible.”


Heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as Russia all but secure last-16 spot

Updated 19 June 2018
0

Heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as Russia all but secure last-16 spot

ST. PETERSBURG: Russia scored three goals in a 15-minute span early in the second half to set up a 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday, moving the host nation to the brink of the World Cup’s knockout stage.
Mohamed Salah won and converted a penalty for a consolation goal on his return from injury but Egypt’s first World Cup in 28 years could be over in barely five days following a second straight loss.
Ahmed Fathi poked the ball into his own net — the fifth own-goal of the tournament — to put Russia ahead in the 47th minute. Then Denis Cheryshev and Artyom Dzyuba scored in quick succession to leave Russia on course for a victory that followed up a 5-0 opening-night win over Saudi Arabia.
It was Cheryshev’s third goal of the World Cup, putting him tied with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the scoring chart.
Russia’s place in the round of 16 will be assured if Uruguay wins or draws against the Saudis on Wednesday. Those two scenarios would also eliminate Egypt, which started with a 1-0 loss to Uruguay.
The hopes of 100 million Egyptians were raised when Salah was selected in the starting lineup, the Liverpool forward making his comeback after 3 1/2 weeks out with damaged ligaments in his left shoulder after a tangle with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final.
Salah trotted out for his pre-match warmup to roars from Egypt fans, who at times appeared to outnumber their Russian counterparts. They shouted every time Salah’s face flashed up on the big screen and when his name was announced before kickoff.
Yet from the start, it was clear that Salah was staying out of anything too physical and there was no concerted effort from his Egypt teammates to pick him out each time. He didn’t touch the ball until the seventh minute.
He did win the penalty — confirmed by the video assistant referee after Salah was pulled down by Roman Zobnin. He converted it in the 73rd minute, but it wasn’t enough. Egypt is still without a victory in six World Cup matches.
Russia is nearly assured of advancing from the group stage for the first time since the Soviet era.
Cheryshev, who entered the World Cup as a fringe player, is proving lethal in front of goal, with his latest a side-footed effort from close range from Mario Fernandes’ cross in the 59th. Dzyuba’s goal was more direct, the striker chesting down a long ball from defender Ilya Kutepov, beating his marker and curling home a low finish.