Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 23rd 2013 Contents A53
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LONDON---The head of the Bundesliga crit-
icised Fifa yesterday for awarding the 2022
World Cup to Qatar, saying the decision "is
not for the good of the game."
Bundesliga chief executive Christian Seifert,
speaking in London ahead of the all-German
Champions League final between Bayern
Munich and Borussia Dortmund, said staging
the tournament in the tiny desert nation s
summer heat could endanger the health of
players and fans.
"The priority is always first the health of
the players and this is what makes me most
upset that the decision was done that ignores
probably the health of the players and that
ignores what is real in the game," Seifert said.
"If you make a decision which is so far away
from the sports perspective if it turns out only
to become, let s say, politically driven, sports
politics decision, then this is not good for the
game...I m not sure of the credibility of Fifa.
Maybe first they should change the claim---
because this (Qatar) is not for the good of the
Fifa President Sepp Blatter has stopped short
of advocating a winter World Cup, despite
saying last week that it is "not rational and
reasonable" to play in the summer heat.
Air-conditioned stadiums to beat the 50-
degree C (122-degree F) heat were a defining
theme of Qatar s bid, but the cooling technology
is for the venues.
Since the vote in 2010, which gave the tour-
nament to Qatar ahead of rival bids from Aus-
tralia, Japan, South Korea and the United States,
Fifa officials have publicly expressed concern
about the heat.
"We are really happy that Fifa recognises
it s warm in the summer in Qatar. This is a
great, great finding. I am absolutely convinced
that it is hard, if not impossible, to play a
World Cup in the summer in Qatar," said Seifert,
who is also vice president of the German Foot-
"Maybe you can create an artificial second
sky over the whole country or over the stadia
but what does that mean for the people in the
media who need to work there, what does that
mean for the fans who are there?"
If the tournament was moved to the Gulf
winter, it would likely be played in January
and February 2022---splitting the Bundesliga
season and impacting the start and finish dates
of leagues across Europe.
"From other leagues I do have the feeling
they are also very upset with the situation---
that the decision was done and that a four-
week tournament effects maybe three years
of running of professional football leagues in
Europe. It shows me which Fifa, as a body
which says what s good for the game, ignores
completely the day-by-day basis in those
leagues who are effectively the core and the
heart of football---not the tournament that
comes up every four years," Seifert said.
Moving the dates to winter could also spark
calls for a re-vote, according to Seifert.
"I am absolutely sure if countries like England
see a chance of a re-vote they will force a re-
vote," he said.
The English Premier League shares some of
Seifert s concerns about a winter tournament.
"We think moving the World Cup to winter
is fraught with difficulties and not workable
or desirable from a European football perspec-
tive," Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson
on the cruciate
in his right
pion says Badstuber had an operation on
Monday to remove the ligament ruptured
in a recurrence of the injury sustained
during Bayern s 1-1 draw with Borussia
Dortmund last December.
The German international needs to
allow drill holes from the first operation
to close before a new ligament can be
Badstuber, who missed more than half
of the Bundesliga season, had returned
from a torn thigh muscle 11 days before
the initial cruciate tear.
Bayern says Badstuber s professional
career is not in danger. (AP)
to miss 10
Bundesliga CEO rips Fifa
over Qatar's World Cup
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