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More support for winter World Cup

The head of the Asian Football Confederation supports moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter months to avoid the desert heat, but European clubs AC Milan and Barcelona oppose the move as it disrupts their league seasons. Mohamed bin Hammam, a Qatari national who heads the AFC and is also a FIFA executive committee member, saisd a winter tournament would ensure players are "in better shape" and wouldn't be "exhausted" after completing a grueling season.

sports Updated: Dec 28, 2010 23:42 IST

The head of the Asian Football Confederation supports moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter months to avoid the desert heat, but European clubs AC Milan and Barcelona oppose the move as it disrupts their league seasons. Mohamed bin Hammam, a Qatari national who heads the AFC and is also a FIFA executive committee member, saisd a winter tournament would ensure players are "in better shape" and wouldn't be "exhausted" after completing a grueling season.

Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup this month despite concerns over temperatures which routinely exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

FIFA executive committee member Franz Beckenbauer was the first to suggest the idea, and UEFA president Michel Platini followed him. FIFA president Sepp Blatter said it is worthy studying while FIFPro, which represents professional footballers worldwide, said the event "must be held in winter."

But the big football clubs remain unconvinced, as they are reluctant to change the international calendar and likely would be concerned over a loss of revenue from breaking up the season.

England manager Fabio Capello has backed calls to play the World Cup during the winter. He said that building air-conditioned stadiums for the event would not be enough.

"It will not be easy for the players to stay all day in the hotel, you can't run around the hotel," he told reporters at an event in Dubai on Tuesday.

"It's a big problem, not only for the training, you have to spend the time, all the day in the hotel, you can't go around to relax, to do something different.

"When you stay together for long time you need to relax to do something different, not only training or playing," he added. "That's why I think it would be a good idea to play in January or February."