Fifa say no to club compensation for winter World Cup

‘Most confederations say they want the World Cup to end on the 23rd of December’

Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke speaks to the press as he arrives for a meeting in Doha - he says there will be no World Cup compensation paid to clubs. Photograph:Getty Images

Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke speaks to the press as he arrives for a meeting in Doha - he says there will be no World Cup compensation paid to clubs. Photograph:Getty Images

 

Fifa’s general secretary Jerome Valcke has claimed Uefa and most of the confederations want December 23rd as the date for the Qatar 2022 World Cup final — but that no decision has been made and that no compensation will be paid to the affected clubs.

A Fifa task force on Tuesday recommended that the 2022 tournament should be played in late November to late December to avoid the heat of the summer.

The Premier League and Football Association say a final that close to Christmas will cause havoc with the traditional festive club programme and will campaign for an earlier final date ahead of the decision by Fifa’s executive committee on March 20th.

December 18th remains a strong possibility — it is Qatar’s national day and also falls on a Sunday, and would be early enough for the festive club programme to take place.

Valcke also confirmed that the 2022 World Cup will be four days shorter as a “concession” to the league and clubs, 28 days instead of the usual 32, and that the African Nations Cup in 2023 will be moved to June from January.

He also said no apology was necessary to the clubs despite the disruption it will cause to domestic football across the globe. He also ruled out paying compensation — European Clubs’ Association (ECA) chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Tuesday said the clubs would demand financial settlements for the disruption.

No apology, no compensation

Valcke told a news conference in Doha after a Qatar 2022 organising committee board meeting: “It’s not perfect, we know that — but 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 40 million (US) dollars in 2010 and $70 million in 2014.

“We are bringing all our people to enjoy the sporting and financial results of the World Cup.

“I definitely don’t feel I have to apologise for the decision made yesterday to confirm that the World Cup will not be played in the summer.”

He added: “Most confederations say they want the World Cup to end on the 23rd of December.”

Valcke also appeared to confirm the deal to extend the USA TV rights deal with Fox to include the 2026 World Cup had been done to avert the threat of any legal action over its 2022 deal.

He said: “We have done what we had to do in order to protect Fifa and the organisation of the World Cup.”

Meanwhile Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan said there was no surprise in the decision to stage a winter World Cup in Qatar but that the actual timing could be crucial.

Regan said: “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.

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

On Tuesday, FA chairman Greg Dyke explained all efforts will be made “to protect the traditional Christmas dates.”

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, who was on the task force that met in Doha on Tuesday, added: “Our particular concern is that a Fifa World Cup that finishes late in December could result in damaging one of the English game’s great traditions and attractions, with the removal of the entire Premier League, Football League and FA Cup Christmas and new year fixture programme that season.”

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