Gullit calls for Qatar to host winter World Cup in 2022
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
November 14 - Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit has become the latest high profile figure in the sport to call for the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be held in the winter to avoid the searing summer desert temperatures.
The 50-year-old from Amsterdam, who captained the Netherlands to victory at the 1988 UEFA European Championship, says he has no concerns for the players if the event is held in the summer but claimed that it would present a major problem for the fans.
"I hope they will play the 2022 World Cup in the winter time," Gullit (pictured top) said here at the Aspire4Sport conference in the Qatari capital.
"I know they have the capacity and also the technology to do it in the summer for the players.
"But I'm not so much worried about the players.
"I'm much more worried about the fans.
"They will want to go out and not stay all of the time in their hotels or in the shopping malls.
"They'll want to go out, play golf, play tennis and go out.
"That is the issue.
"Therefore, I hope the World Cup will be carried out in the winter time.
"But I am very excited about the fact that they got it anyway because I think this region needs a tournament that's important like this."
Gullit's comments come just a month after former Netherlands teammate Ronald de Boer – an ambassador for the Qatar 2022 bid – also called for the event to be staged in winter because "football is for the fans".
The move is strongly backed by UEFA President Michel Platini, the man widely seen as the next FIFA President, who has long called for the 2022 World Cup to be staged in the winter months.
But current FIFA President Sepp Blatter is adamant that the competition should be held in a summer in a stance supported by the Premier League.
November 2012: Winter World Cup plans would have to be finalised within next two years, says Qatar 2022 leader