Platini hits back over Qatar

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Leagues around Europe have voiced their concerns over plans to halt the 2022-23 season to accommodate the tournament.

But Platini, who chaired FIFA’s World Cup committee hearing in Z??rich today, was unsympathetic.

“It’s not only the Premier League in the world,” he told Sky Sports News HQ outside FIFA HQ. “There are many leagues, many players, many clubs. When it is winter it is summer in other parts of the world.”

FIFA’s executive committee will meet tomorrow to finalise the dates for the tournament, with a formal announcement due on Friday.??

The 2022 World Cup is expected to be staged from November, with December 18 a proposed date for the final.

Platini, who voted for Qatar to stage the competition, insists moving it away from the summer has always been his preferred option.

“I always said it will be a winter World Cup. I always said I’ll vote for Qatar but do my best for winter. I am totally coherent with what I said four years ago. I vote for what I am convinced is good for football.”

Platini admitted UEFA had wanted the tournament to be staged in January 2022 but other sporting events made that impossible.

But Platini is happy with the compromise, adding “we will have players in good condition. Normally, that means the football will be better in December than in June.”