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Uefa calls for extra World Cup spot

Germany won the tournament last time out. Credit: PA

Uefa has announced it wants an extra place to be given to a European country at World Cup finals.

Europe currently has 13 countries among the 32 final spots but Fifa president Sepp Blatter has previously urged other continents to seek more guaranteed places.

Uefa's general secretary Gianni Infantino said not only would the 13 places be protected but that Europe would fight for an extra slot.

He told a news conference in Vienna: "If you look at it objectively based on facts 19 of the top 32 ranked associations are European, the winners of the last three World Cups were European.

"So I think it's absolutely objective and fair to be asking for one more position only - in fact we could ask for more than one. To be crowned world champions you must have the best teams in the competitions."

He added: "I don't know if Fifa is trying to reduce the number, I don't think so - I cannot imagine a World Cup with fewer than 13 (Europeans) taking place. Whatever speculations and discussions the absolute minimum is the status quo."


Fifa reject Premier League compensation for Qatar 2022

FIFA's General secretary, Jérôme Valcke, has rejected the possibility of the Premier League, and other European leagues, claiming compensation for the consequences of a November and December World Cup.

On Monday, European Club Association chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge suggested that Europe's leagues and clubs would deserve financial reimbursement for the 2022 Qatar World Cup, which promises to wreak havoc with more than 50 domestic leagues.

Valcke told a news conference in Doha after a Qatar 2022 organising committee board meeting: "It's not perfect, we know that - but why are we talking about compensation? It's happening once we're not destroying football.

Why should we apologise to the clubs? We have had an agreement with the clubs that they are part of the beneficiaries. It was 40 million (US) dollars in 2010 and 70 million in 2014.

– FIFA's General secretary Jérôme Valcke

Premier League chief feels 'let down' by Fifa and UEFA

Premier League chief Richard Scudamore has expressed his disappointment after Fifa's task force recommended staging the 2022 Qatar World Cup in November and December.

Scudamore wants minimal disruption to his Premier League schedule. Credit: Reuters

The recommendation is likely to be ratified at a Fifa meeting in Zurich next month and would play havoc with the Premier League campaign, which includes a packed schedule of matches during the last two months of the calendar year.

Scudamore feels the UEFA Champions League has been protected by Fifa's decision rather than domestic leagues such as the Premier League.

British Fifa chief against late December World Cup final

Britain's FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce will oppose any move to hold the 2022 Qatar World Cup final as late as December 23.

Boyce doesn't want the final as late as December 23rd. Credit: PA

The task force announced its recommendation for a "late November to late December" winter World Cup following a meeting in Doha, and also said that the tournament should be shortened.

Boyce, from Northern Ireland, said moving the World Cup to the winter was a "common sense" decision but that a final on December 23, which is reportedly one of the options, would be too close to Christmas and the traditional festive matches.

I think that is too close to Christmas - that's the only reservation I would have and I would like it a week earlier, but I want to wait until the FIFA executive committee meeting to hear all the details about the dates.

It will cause a lot of disruption but it is eight years away and people should have enough time to make it work.

– FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce


Fifa admit concerns over 2022 Qatar World Cup

The chief of Fifa's task force into the 2022 Qatar World Cup admits a series of concerns were expressed after it was recommended that the tournament be staged in November and December.

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa admits the event could be shortened. Credit: Reuters

The head of the Asian Football Confederation, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, said all options would be reviewed at the FIFA meeting next month, when the recommendation is expected to be ratified by the executive committee of world soccer's governing body.

Some people have concerns, but whatever decision you're going to take will have some questions about it.

But we need to look at the overall benefit of everybody. There are no plans to reduce the size of the tournament from 32 teams or 64 matches, but the tournament would be shortened by a matter of days.

– Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa

League and clubs wanted World Cup in May and June

Leagues and clubs has pushed for 2022 World Cup in Qatar during May and June, but it was ruled out on grounds of heat.

The 2022 World Cup is likely to be staged in November and December. Credit: PA

They are now expected to ask for a reduced preparation period beforehand and a cut in the number of international dates during the season.

Task force chairman Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said:

We are very pleased that, after careful consideration of the various opinions and detailed discussions with all stakeholders, we have identified what we believe to be the best solution for the 2018-2024 international match calendar and football in general.

It was a challenging task and I want to thank all members of the football community for their productive input and constructiveness in helping to find a solution that we believe can work for everyone.

– Task force chairman Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa

FIFA recommends shorter 2022 World Cup in Qatar

The FIFA statement confirmed the task force had recommended a shorter tournament

The 2022 World Cup is likely to be staged in November and December. Credit: PA

It said: "The outcome of the discussions is also a proposed reduced competition days schedule with the exact dates to be defined inline with the match schedule and number of venues to be used for the 22nd edition of football's flagship event.

"The proposed event dates have the full support of all six confederations. The proposal will be discussed at the next meeting of the FIFA executive committee, scheduled to take place at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on 19 and 20 March 2015. "

The statement said the task force was exploring the option of staging the Confederations Cup in another Asian confederation country during the traditional June/July window in 2021, and using another FIFA competition such as the Club World Cup as the operational test event for Qatar in November/December 2021.

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