Champions League

UEFA prepared to move CL

2014-11-05 20:20
Michel Platini (AFP Photo)

Burton-on-Trent -  UEFA president Michel Platini has said on Wednesday that he is prepared to stage the 2022 Champions League final in June in order to accommodate that year's World Cup in Qatar.

Amid concerns about soaring summer temperatures in the Gulf state, a FIFA taskforce is currently assessing the feasibility of moving the 2022 World Cup from its traditional mid-year slot.

While world governing body FIFA would prefer the tournament to take place in November and December Platini is pushing for a January-February slot, and he says re-arranging the flagship Champions League, the final of which usually takes place in May, would not be a problem.

"As the president of the confederation, I have no problem," the 59-year-old former France star told journalists during a briefing at England's St George's Park training base in Burton-on-Trent, central England.

"Because it is not a problem for the competition of the Champions League, we can move the dates in 2022 and have two semi-finals and the final in June, so that is not a problem.

"Everybody speaks about the clubs and the leagues, but if it is in November and December, then you lose six dates of the national teams. But we are not so far away (from an agreement) with FIFA."

A decision on the dates of the 2022 World Cup is due to be announced by FIFA's executive committee in March next year.

However, a problem with the January February dates is FIFA have promised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) they would not clash with that year's WInter Olympics which are programmed for then and something IOC president Thomas Bach said earlier this week he expected them to honour.

Four years before the 2022 tournament, the football world will turn its eyes to Russia, which is hosting the 2018 World Cup.

Russian football has battled accusations of racism in recent years, with current league champions CSKA Moscow presently saddled by sanctions owing in part to the racist behaviour of their supporters.

While Platini accepts that European governing body UEFA has a role to play in tackling the problem, he believes that Russia as a country must take the lead.

"When we choose a World Cup venue like Qatar or like Russia, we focus on the country, but I am president of UEFA and in Europe we have a lot of racism. It is getting worse and worse," he said.

"We can do a lot of things. We can punish, but there is a lot of racism. I think the problem is important, but do you think only FIFA and UEFA can resolve the problem of racism in the world? I don't think so.

"I think it is very important that we say to the Russian authorities it is very important that they do something because it is not good for the country, it's not good for football, it's not good for anybody.

"It is difficult. If it's one guy out of 50 and you close the stadium?

"We have to say to the authorities, 'You fight against that.' It is education. It is difficult. We have to punish, we have to educate, we have to continue our fight, and the fight is not easy."

Read more on:    uefa  |  fifa  |  champions league  |  2022 swc  |  michel platini  |  soccer
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