Uefa president Michel Platini proposes Gulf World Cup

Uefa president Michel Platini has called for the 2022 World Cup to be played across the whole of the Gulf.

Qatar won the right to host the 2022 tournament but the decision has not been without controversy with Fifa boss Sepp Blatter keen to hold it in winter.

Neither proposal was suggested during the bidding process and Qatar have always maintained the tournament will only be held in the tiny Arab country.

“I hope it will be a World Cup of the Gulf,” said Platini on Wednesday.

Qatar will be the first Arab and Muslim majority nation to host the tournament. It will also be the smallest and the hottest.

The heat in summer can hit 43 degrees, which has led Fifa to suggest the idea of going against tradition and holding a winter World Cup.

As well as concerns over the weather in Qatar, there are also worries about how the tiny country will cope with the thousands of spectators that will travel to the 2022 tournament.

Qatar occupies a small peninsula that juts out into the southwest of the Gulf, bordering Saudi Arabia. It covers an area of 11,437 square kilometres (4,575 square miles).

FIFA president Sepp Blatter

And this has now led to Platini to suggest spreading the hosting of the tournament to neighbouring Arab countries.

However, the Qatar organising committee themselves see the size of their country as an advantage with fans not having to travel vast distances to see matches, with the possibility to also see more than one game in a day.

“It could be the World Cup of Qatar but played in the Gulf,” said the Frenchman, who is on the Fifa executive committee.

“I think we need political people [for this to happen], but I think so.”

Asked why such drastic changes could be considered when they were never mentioned during the bidding campaign, Platini added: “Who will remember the words in 12 years? In 12 years everybody will be happy to have a very well-organised World Cup and not remember what’s happened before.

“When I organised the World Cup in France we did [things] differently from what we proposed in the bid.”


*BBC Sports is the source of this report.

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