Euro leagues warn FIFA on 2022
Europe's top leagues have warned FIFA not to rush a decision on switching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from summer to winter.
The scorching heat of the Middle East summer has led to a re-think about the timing of the tournament, with a move to November or December being mooted.
That has led to anger amongst the European clubs and Leagues - a switch to winter would mean the tournament being played in the middle of their domestic seasons.
The world governing body is due to decide on a switch at a meeting on October 3-4, but the Association of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) - which includes the Premier League - has called for this to be postponed pending a full investigation into the effects of such a move.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter revealed on Monday that he will recommend a switch to the winter and UEFA president Michel Platini also wants a change.
But the EPFL said in a statement: "The feasibility of any change to the calendar involves every aspect of football organisation across all countries, from the grass-roots to the major national representative tournaments and the leagues.
"Any suggestion of staging the World Cup at a time other than the traditional period is a crucial issue for the European Leagues considering the impact on the organisation of domestic championships throughout Europe, and of the international football calendar around the world.
"The EPFL is of the view that no hasty decision shall be made by the FIFA executive committee of October 3-4."
The statement adds "such an important decision cannot be rushed with artificial deadlines" and says that a proper medical assessment on the impact of the heat on players and supporters should take place.
Blatter has also admitted for the first time that FIFA may have made a mistake when appointing Qatar as the host nation.
When it was suggested FIFA should have been aware that Qatar's climate would prevent a summer tournament taking place before they were voted as 2022 host in 2010, Blatter said: "That may well be so, and it may well be that we made a mistake at the time."
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of the European Club Association, says his
members agree with Blatter that the tournament may have to be moved - but that nothing should be done too soon.
"We're not in a hurry, there are still nine years to go," said Rummenigge
following the ECA's general assembly in Geneva. "The feeling is it is probably
better to play it in winter."
"I don't understand why FIFA would like to make an early decision. I personally believe there is no hurry.
"Having the World Cup in Qatar is not a mistake. But we are requesting a solution which in the end does not affect our business too much. After visiting Qatar at our last general assembly we had a good feeling about the organisation of a World Cup there."