Platini repeats 2022 Winter World Cup call with sideswipe at EPL

Former France international Michel Platini has adopted a strong stance on the rescheduling of the 2022 World Cup.

Story highlights

  • Michel Platini repeats call for 2022 World Cup to be played in winter
  • UEFA president concerned that about summer heat in Qatar
  • English Premier League has spoken out against the notion
  • 'We have to play World Cup at the best time' - Platini

UEFA president Michel Platini repeated his support for moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter Friday with a sideswipe at the English Premier League (EPL) who are opposed to the change of date.

Platini, who heads Europe's governing body, has previously gone on record to call for a switch from the summer when temperatures soar in the Gulf region.

FIFA is set to discuss the issue at an executive committee meeting in October, its president Sepp Blatter indicating recently he was in favor of change to the schedule.

"I was very happy to learn that FIFA president Joseph Blatter wants to move the 2022 World Cup to the winter, something I've long advocated," said Platini, who was addressing the media in Monaco as the Europa League draw was made.

"It's impossible to play in 50-degree heat in Qatar in the summer. We have to play the World Cup at the best time," Platini added.

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Read: Qatar conundrum: Can the 2022 World Cup be moved?

But the change to a winter date has been met with opposition from the major European leagues, with the EPL the most outspoken.

Its chief executive Richard Scudamore said switching the World Cup was "well nigh impossible," citing disruption to the calendar and the impact on lucrative television deals.

Platini said he was unimpressed by those arguments. "For 150 years, England has imposed its calendar and we've respected it.

"So for once, for one month, England could respect another calendar," he added.

FIFA's executive committee meets in Zurich on October 3-4 to approve any change and begin a consultation with key stakeholders such as the EPL.

Qatar won the right to host the tournament in December 2010, beating the United States in the final round of bidding. South Korea, Japan and Australia were also in the running.

Platini was among the executive committee members to vote in favor of bring the global showpiece to the Middle East for the first time.