UEFA chiefs back winter World Cup in 2022

Updated 22 September 2013
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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.”


Canelo Alvarez signs largest contract in the history of sport

Updated 17 October 2018
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Canelo Alvarez signs largest contract in the history of sport

  • A massive moneymaker when he fought on pay-per-view, Alvarez will be able to be seen for much cheaper on the sports-streaming service DAZN
  • A third fight with Golovkin could feature in the 11-fight deal after their draw and Alvarez’s narrow victory in the rematch

NEW YORK: Canelo Alvarez is boxing’s new $365 million man.
Alvarez has signed an 11-fight deal that his promotional company says is the richest athlete contract in sports history, guaranteeing the Mexican middleweight champion at least that much money to have his fights shown on the sports-streaming service DAZN, beginning with his next bout.
Alvarez will move up in weight to challenge WBA super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding on Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
A massive moneymaker when he fought on pay-per-view, Alvarez will be able to be seen for much cheaper through the subscription service that launched in the US in September and now features perhaps the two biggest figures in boxing in Alvarez and heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
“We have No. 1 and No. 2. They’re the two most important fighters in the world,” DAZN executive chairman John Skipper said. “Canelo fighting on DAZN, we believe that that will help us attract some of the other fighters, some of the other premier fighters.”
Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) is coming off a victory over Gennady Golovkin in a middleweight showdown in September. That fight, like most of boxing’s biggest, was shown on pay-per-view. It cost $84.95 to be seen in high definition.
And while planning his next fight, Golden Boy Promotions also needed a place to put it. With HBO bowing out of boxing after this year, the company had talks with Showtime, ESPN and Turner Sports about televising Alvarez’s future bouts.
But Skipper made an aggressive offer for DAZN (pronounced Da-Zone) when he met with Golden Boy about two weeks ago and the deal was quickly finalized.
“John came with the best deal. John Skipper came, he wasn’t playing games,” Golden Boy President Eric Gomez said. “He said, our first meeting with him over two weeks ago, he came to our office and said, ‘I’ve got a blank check, I’m not leaving until we make a deal.’ And he put his money where his mouth is.”
Skipper said it wasn’t quite a blank check, but one that ensured Alvarez wouldn’t be taking a pay cut to leave pay-per-view. He said Alvarez’s last three fights generated 3.6 million buys and nearly a quarter of a billion dollars, making him someone who can be transformative to a subscription service focused largely — at least for now — on combat sports.
“So I’ve got to find those fans,” Skipper said. “They are going to want to watch his fights and they’re going to get to buy them for a lot less expensive than they did before.”
It will cost them $9.99 a month for a subscription in the US Under the five-year partnership, Golden Boy also will put on up to 10 fight nights per year that will stream live on DAZN beginning in early 2019.
Gomez said Alvarez is committed to fighting 11 times during the deal and willing to fight any of the contenders at 160 or 168 pounds. Alvarez said for now his plan is to return to 160 after the bout against Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs), a British fighter who appeared significantly taller than Alvarez, who will be trying to win a title in his third weight class.
A third fight with Golovkin would be a natural after their draw and Alvarez’s narrow victory in the rematch, but there would be plenty more options at middleweight if they don’t meet again.
Whoever he ends up with, at least Alvarez knows now where it can be seen.
“I’ve always said that when one door closes another one opens and we’re very happy with this new alliance that we’ve made with DAZN,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. “Forget about what the price is, the amount of money that we’re making. The most important thing is that fans can enjoy this fight at a very low price.”