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FIFA rules out compensation for unhappy clubs

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FIFA says it will not pay compensation to clubs and leagues unhappy about plans to play the 2022 Qatar World Cup in November and December.

It also said no apology was necessary for the scheduling of the tournament, which will disrupt a number of leagues.

A FIFA taskforce has recommended the 2022 World Cup take place in winter to avoid Qatar’s hot summer temperatures.

“There will be no compensation,” said FIFA secretary general, Jerome Valcke. “There are seven years to reorganise.”

FIFA’s executive committee will meet in Zurich next month to ratify the taskforce’s recommendation.

Valcke also suggested that a 2022 World Cup final on 23 December was looking increasingly likely.

Leading English officials claim a final that close to Christmas will cause havoc with their traditional festive club programme and say they will campaign for an earlier date.

But Valcke says European governing body Uefa and other confederations are keen on 23 December, although 18 December is also a possibility.

Valcke also confirmed the 2022 World Cup will be four days shorter as a “concession” to leagues and clubs – 28 days instead of the usual 31/32 – and that the 2023 African Nations Cup will move to June from January.

Speaking at a news conference in Doha on Wednesday, Valcke admitted the situation was “not perfect” but added: “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 $40m (£26m) in 2010 and $70m (£45m) in 2014. We are bringing all our people to enjoy the sporting and financial results of the World Cup.”

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has added his voice to those lamenting the impact a winter World Cup will have on leagues and clubs around the world.

“We will look at the knock-on effects of the decision and how it will affect Scottish football,” he said. “Clearly there will be fixture challenges for leagues across the world.

“We have been expecting this decision for some time, but it is going to run late into December and just how close to Christmas it gets is something that needs to be thought through.”



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