FIS president warns FIFA over clash with 2022 Winter Games

Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:49pm EDT
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By Manuele Lang

SOELDEN Austria (Reuters) - International Ski Federation (FIS) president Gian-Franco Kasper has warned FIFA against holding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at the same time as the Winter Olympic Games.

Kasper, who is also an outspoken member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was reacting to comments last week by FIFA president Sepp Blatter that the Qatar World Cup would most probably be held in the northern hemisphere winter because June is too hot.

"FIFA is trying to find a way out of a situation they created themselves," Kasper told Reuters at the alpine skiing World Cup opener in Soelden.

"They could have thought about the weather in Qatar before but if they want to move into the winter, I think it would be possible to have it in November or December," he added, a position also favored by Blatter in an interview with French radio last week.

"We could live with that. But if they want to move to January and February and overlap with the Winter Games or, like one FIFA representative said, just eliminate those Winter Games that have no interest, then of course I’m heavily opposed to it," Kasper said.

The 70-year-old Swiss, who has been FIS president since 1998, said a decision to move the World Cup to January or February would be counter-productive to both events.

"If television networks have to cover two major events just one after the other, they cannot afford it," he said.

Soccer's European Clubs Association (ECA) said last week it would consider an April/May tournament.   Continued...

Journalists are reflected in a logo at the FIFA headquarters after a meeting of the executive committee in Zurich October 4, 2013.   REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann