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FIFA looking into moving World Cup in Qatar to winter

FIFA looking into moving World Cup in Qatar to winter

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) FIFA’s top officials left open the option of rescheduling the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to avoid the blistering summer.

Any decision would require extensive talks with soccer federations and other overseers of the sport, they said Thursday.

In separate remarks, FIFA president Sepp Blatter and general secretary Jerome Valcke said moving the Qatar matches to winter deserves study. It could protect players from heat and show flexibility for future bid cities.

“FIFA’s job is to have a World Cup that protects the players so we take note of the recommendations and go through the list of requirements,” Blatter told journalists in Qatar in his first visit since the tiny Gulf nation was awarded the World Cup this month. “We will look into this and make the right decision.”

Valcke, attending the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, said that switching the schedule would make it possible for a wider range of countries to bid for the World Cup which traditionally takes places in June and July in the future.

“Why not? It means you open the World Cup to countries where they can never play it in June and July because it’s never the right period of time,” Valcke told The Associated Press. “If you can do so, it would be a solution to open the organization of the World Cup to a number of countries in this period which is winter in Europe but not winter in the rest of the world.”

Still, he said it is “not so easy” to stage a winter World Cup since it would require changing the international calendar including possibly the year before and after the 2022 tournament and getting the support of domestic leagues and national federations.

“You can’t just make a decision to move the tournament and that is it,” he said. “It means you have to change completely when the leagues will play, mainly I would say in Europe. It’s less difficult in the rest of the world.”

Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup this month despite concerns that temperatures exceeding 104 degrees pose a serious health risk to players and fans. Soon after it beat out the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea for the bidding rights, soccer executives started suggesting that it might be better move the 2022 tournament to January when it is much cooler in Qatar.

FIFA executive committee member Franz Beckenbauer was the first to suggest the idea, and he was followed by UEFA president Michel Platini.

Valcke said Qatar has not formally requested changing the timing of the tournament, and bid officials have not said anything publicly about whether they would support such a move. Until now, Qatar has only promised FIFA that stadiums, training venues and areas for fans to party will be cooled with solar powered air conditioning.

Blatter said the decision to award Qatar the tournament as well as sending it to Russia in 2018 reflects the “modern World Cup” that moves into new areas.

“Now the Middle East has also got its first World Cup,” he said. “The philosophy of football is that it should be accessible to everybody. It has happened now.”

Last week, Blatter floated the idea that some games at the 2022 tournament could be played in other Gulf countries.

400 Nepalese have died since construction began Calls grow for Fifa to take decisive action as human

400 Nepalese have died since construction began Calls grow for Fifa to take decisive action as human

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None of them were bought or forced to work. They voluntered to work. Look, these workers come from poor families from the subcontinent with almost zero skills.

They are not professionals. Obviously, undertaking such heavy construction, they are more prone to accidents or what not. Obviously, there should be an investigation on whether proper saftey measures were used or not. But if they were, you can blame Qatar for their deaths. People die of accidents all the time.

Evidence of forced labour on a huge World Cup infrastructure project.

Some Nepalese men have alleged that they have not been paid for months and have had their salaries retained to stop them running away.

Some workers on other sites say employers routinely confiscate passports and refuse to issue ID cards, in effect reducing them to the status of illegal aliens.

Some labourers say they have been denied access to free drinking water in the desert heat.

About 30 Nepalese sought refuge at their embassy in Doha to escape the brutal conditions of their employment.

The allegations suggest a chain of exploitation leading from poor Nepalese villages to Qatari leaders. The overall picture is of one of the richest nations exploiting one of the poorest to get ready for the world most popular sporting tournament.

Qatar has proposed a gas pipeline from the Gulf to Turkey in a sign the emirate is considering a further expansion of exports from the world biggest gasfield after it finishes an ambitious programme to more than double its capacity to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“We are eager to have a gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey,” Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the ruler of Qatar, said last week, following talks with the Turkish president Abdullah Gul and the prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the western Turkish resort town of Bodrum. “We discussed this matter in the framework of co operation in the field of energy. In this regard, a working group will be set up that will come up with concrete results in the shortest possible time,” he said, according to Turkey Anatolia news agency.

Other reports in the Turkish press said the two states were exploring the possibility of Qatar supplying gas to the strategic Nabucco pipeline project, which would transport Central Asian and Middle Eastern gas to Europe, bypassing Russia.

It essentially some loosely tied together ideas which may or may not be applicable to a scenario which may or may not have occurred including a quote from an opposition MP who gives another statistic that may or may not be true.