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Beckenbauer suggests playing Qatar World Cup in January

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Beckenbauer suggests playing Qatar World Cup in January
Photo: DPA
13:09 CET+01:00
German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has suggested that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar be held in January to avoid the searing summer heat in the Persian Gulf country.

A member of the FIFA executive committee that stunned the world on Thursday by according the 2022 tournament to the tiny emirate, Beckenbauer said that it would be wrong to stage the event in the traditional close-season period of June and July.

"We need to consider this solution of January and February when in Qatar the temperatures are around a pleasant 25 degrees," he told Bild newspaper.

"Why would that not be acceptable? The schedules for the big European leagues are due to be changed in 2012 and that would mean the impact would be less.

"Also it would be a viable alternative to the huge expenses involved in setting up air-conditioning for the stadiums and the fan zones."

Beckenbauer, a World Cup winner both as a player and a manager, refused to say who he had voted for in Zurich when the World Cup hosts for 2018 and 2022 were designated.

But he did admit to being left lost for words by Qatar getting the nod for 2022 ahead of the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

"What astonishes me is that Australia was eliminated in the first round of voting, just like England (for 2018), but I am sure Russia will be an excellent host in 2018)."

Beckenbauer has already said that he will stand down from the 22-strong FIFA executive next year.

AFP/mry

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