Belfast Telegraph

City boss reveals World Cup worries

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has questioned the long-term effects of holding the 2022 World Cup in the winter.

The final of the showpiece event in Qatar is to be on Sunday, December 18 - a decision which will allow traditional Boxing Day club matches to take place in Britain and avoid the fierce heat of June and July.

It will be a shortened tournament over 28 days instead of the usual 32, starting on November 21. December 18 is also Qatar's national day.

However, Pellegrini is concerned how Premier League games, which would usually be scheduled for November and December, will be caught up later in the season and the impact of doing so on the next domestic campaign.

"I think it is difficult to stop all the European leagues in that month, especially in our league at this moment, and not play football here in November and December," Pellegrini said.

"When you recover those amount of games what will happen in the next season, when you finish late, how many days the national squad will need their players?

"I don't think it is easy. It is a big task."

Swansea manager Garry Monk echoed Pellegrini's thoughts, but conceded that teams would just have to "get on with it".

"It will be strange having a two-month break in the middle of the season. I'm not sure how that's going to work and I'd have to see the exact lay-out of it, but I don't think it's a great thing," he said.

"It's beyond the powers of Swansea City, but I can't imagine too many teams are happy with it. But it sounds as if we're just going to have to get on with it."

Everton boss Roberto Martinez conceded the tournament moving to November would need plenty of adaptation, but he always expected a World Cup in Qatar to be held over the winter.

"You need clarity and then you can prepare towards that," Martinez said. "But I always felt that once it was given to Qatar it was going to be a winter World Cup.

"When all the talk is about wanting the World Cup in different continents and different countries, and when the hosts are going to be Qatar, it's only normal that it's going to be played in the winter.

"That's going to affect two or three seasons around that date, but we need to adapt and make it a big football celebration like the World Cup's supposed to be."

Hull manager Steve Bruce thinks a World Cup late in the year is a sensible move in such a hot climate, but took the chance to push for a winter break.

He said: "We've got plenty of time to adapt. I've always said in this country we need a break, we should copy everyone else. When you see other teams come back there's a freshness about them because of the winter break.

"We've got plenty of time to put the schedule in. Once FIFA picked Qatar there was only one solution and they've picked the sensible one."

West Brom manager Tony Pulis agreed.

"Whichever way you try to cook it they have worked it to suit the country at the best possible time. They have moved everything around to suit them, full stop," he said.

"They are the governing body and, irrespective of what you do say and don't say, there might be loads of people unhappy with it, but they have got it through and it's been agreed.

"Everyone has to get on with it. What will be the situation in England, is everything is going to have to be reorganised and revamped? That's going to be interesting."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph