Oz wants FIFA compensation

2013-09-17 11:16
Frank Lowy (Gallo)

Sydney - Australia's football chairperson called on Tuesday for "just and fair compensation" for affected nations if the 2022 Soccer World Cup in Qatar is moved to winter over fears of stifling summer heat.

Frank Lowy, the head of Football Federation Australia, joined European club chiefs in voicing concern about a FIFA proposal to move the World Cup to January and February, instead of the traditional June-July.

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter stoked tensions over the controversial idea by arguing that it was not responsible to play in summer in the Gulf states, where temperatures can hit a blistering 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).

This prompted a strong response from Lowy, who said nations whose domestic leagues would be thrown into chaos by a date shift - including Australia - should get a payout for financial losses and disruption.

He also said FIFA must consider that "just and fair compensation should be paid to those nations that invested many millions, and national prestige, in bidding for a summer event".

Australia sank some Aus$43 million (US$40 million) into its unsuccessful 2022 cup bid, which was based on the assumption the tournament would be in the traditional mid-year months.

"Australia invested heavily in the World Cup process and the entire nation was behind the bid," Lowy said.

"Since December 2010 Australia has been careful not to let its misgivings about the process be interpreted as sour grapes.

"But now, with increasing speculation about a change that will impact on us as one of the bidding nations, and because our competition will be affected, we have made our position public."

Lowy urged FIFA not to rush into a decision without consulting member associations or without allowing an internal ethics inquiry underway into the 2022 cup to run its course.

He said there was a "real risk of making a bad situation worse".

"FIFA has an opportunity now to make the best of a bad situation by embarking on a transparent and orderly approach, unlike the process that led to the original flawed decision in December 2010," he said.

Read more on:    fifa  |  soccer

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