December 6 2013 Latest news:
Patrick Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Chris Hughton has rejected calls for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be switched to the winter.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter admitted earlier this week it was a ‘mistake’ to take the game’s summer showpiece to the Middle East, where matches could take place in temperatures of up to 50 degrees. Blatter plans to urge the world governing body’s executive committee to propose a winter switch which would have serious implications for domestic club competitions like the Premier League.
Hughton admits any attempt to force European clubs to accommodate a winter World Cup could prove a hard sell.
“I find it very strange, the same as everybody else,” he said. “We are all used to a summer World Cup. It breeds excitement. The vast majority of leagues are set up in the same way. Certainly there is absolutely no reason to change it and there wouldn’t be too many people in favour of it. Whether a winter break will come into the thinking of our game here some stage in the future that is a completely different thing, but to disrupt a season midway through is one thing I don’t see happening. Nor do I think it should happen.”
Blatter aims to use his influence to try and convince key stakeholders to rally behind his stated position.
“I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world anymore, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will on to others in faraway places,” he said. “We must accept that football has moved away from being a European and South American sport, it has become the world sport that billions of fans are excitedly following every week, everywhere in the world. After many discussions, deliberations and critical review of the entire matter, I came to the conclusion that playing the World Cup in the heat of Qatar’s summer was simply not a responsible thing to do.
“First we need to see if the owner of the World Cup - Fifa - agrees with my recommendation. Once the executive committee of Fifa has agreed to that, we can take the next step. That will include a close look at the international calendar and to establish what consequences the change would have.”
Chris Hughton insists his Norwich City players know their Premier League away form is unacceptable.