English FA chairman on Qatar World Cup: ‘Certain it won’t happen in the summer’

'If you've been to Qatar in the summer you can hardly walk in the streets,' says Greg Dyke, chairman of England's FA, insisting that 'there is no chance it will be held in the summer of 2022'.

Multiple global officials contend a summer World Cup at Qatar 2022 will be untenable due to extreme heat. Getty Images
Powered by automated translation

FA chairman Greg Dyke told MPs he is “certain” the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will not be held in the summer, insisting it is “too dangerous” due to the high temperatures.

Dyke gave evidence to the Culture Media and Sport (CMS) select committee on Tuesday regarding the bidding process for the 2022 tournament, which has been plagued by allegations of corruption and bribery.

Concerns have been raised about the playing conditions in Qatar, where summer temperatures can exceed 50 degrees Celsius.

Dyke said: “I am certain it won’t happen in the summer.

“There is no chance it will be held in the summer of 2022 – the discussion is when else it will be held.”

“If you’ve been to Qatar in the summer you can hardly walk in the streets,” he said.

“The health and safety people say it wasn’t safe and it certainly wouldn’t be safe.

“Air-conditioned stadiums are one thing but fans moving around on the streets, in and out of stadiums – it will be too dangerous to have it there in the summer.”

Dyke also called for widespread reform of Fifa but admits it is unlikely to occur while Sepp Blatter remains president.

“We think there’s a limited amount of time people should sit on the Fifa executive,” Dyke said.

“We voted in favour of that but most voted against it. It’s that sort of reform that is needed to make sure we get proper turnover.

“Hopefully a new president coming in would take a look at the whole structure.

“A lot of the European FAs made it clear they didn’t support Blatter but I’m afraid from the rest of the world he has overwhelming support.

“If he runs again he will win, but I think it’s unlikely we at the FA would vote for him.”

In June, Uefa president Michel Platini withdrew his support for Blatter’s re-election, insisting Fifa needed a “breath of fresh air”.

Dyke said the FA would focus on bidding for Uefa rather than Fifa tournaments in the future, but believes it would not be productive to withdraw England’s membership of the organisation.

“We’ve already taken the decision that we will not bid for Fifa tournaments – our decision is we will concentrate in the years ahead on bidding for Uefa tournaments,” Dyke said.

“I don’t think we should walk out of Fifa because within a week everyone has forgotten you.

“I don’t think that sort of gesture-politics would help. I think trying to reform through Uefa and from the inside is the better way forward.”

Dyke threw his backing behind England manager Roy Hodgson during the World Cup in Brazil, as well, despite the team finishing bottom of their group.

He reiterated his support for Hodgson but said the FA will look in September at making more fundamental changes to the English set-up.

“I thought Roy Hodgson did quite a good job (at the World Cup) – I’ve got a lot of time for him,” Dyke said.

“One of the big problems English football has is the average Premier League manager lasts 12 months if you take Arsene Wenger out.

“Their ability to look long-term therefore is going to be quite limited – in England your first job as a manager is to sort out your contract when you go in and the second is to sort out your contract when you leave.

“Our view is Roy has a four-year contract and he will continue that contract.

“Some progress was made. But what we are going to look at is are there more fundamental changes we need to make? We’ll look at that in September.”

A series of ambitious proposals for reform of the English game were outlined in a report drawn up by the FA commission in May.

They included creating a new League Three to accommodate 10 Premier League B-teams and requiring clubs to select more home-grown players in match-day squads.

Dyke believes the changes are essential to England’s hopes of winning a World Cup again in the future.

“Do I think we will ever win it again? I think it’s going to get tougher and tougher unless we do something about it,” Dyke said.

“There are a lot of great foreign players who we want to be here but there are a lot of bog-standard (foreign) players too.

“The real problem is there’s no pathway for teenage English boys to come through the system.”

Dyke continued: “That’s why we came up with B-teams in the lower leagues so that there’s progression.

“Everyone says ‘it’s not my problem’ and it’s interesting a lot of coaches and managers have come out in favour of what we’re saying because they recognise the problem.”

Follow us on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE