Saturday Ticker: World Cup 2022 Might Be Played in Winter, FIFA's Anti-Racism Chief Lashes Out on Financial Punishments, and more

There is a possibility of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup being played in the winter, according to FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke.

Valcke maintains that if medical evidence of the World Cup being played in Qatar’s blistering heat shows that it is dangerous to the players’ health, then the tournament could be moved to the winter.

The move has its supporters, with Michel Platini headlining the list. CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, however, is against the move. “Historically, the World Cup is always played in June,” Webb stated, “and I would definitely like the World Cup to be played in June.”

Scheduling has not been set past 2018 yet, and in order for the move to happen, Qatar has to make an official request by 2015.

Here are more stories from this Soccer Saturday:


FIFA has a new anti-racism chief, and he believes punishment for racist incidents need to be handled more harshly.

CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb was appointed head of a racism task force this week, created to help eliminate racism from soccer.

Webb believes that FIFA has been too lenient when it comes to fines, and that other means of punishment need to be established. “With the money that’s involved in football today, the fines that are being established, I don’t think they’re working, obviously.”

Webb also would like to get to the root of the problem by talking to offenders and victims alike, targeting an information gathering trip to England where he intends to speak to Luis Suarez, John Terry, Patrice Evra and Anton Ferdinand.

Point deductions and relegation punishments have been proposed, with neither coming to fruition yet.


Following Rafa Benitez’s outlash at Chelsea’s fans, Alan Shearer has added to the fire with a barrage of insults at the club.

“There is no class there, is there?,” the former striker said on Saturday’s Football Focus, “I just feel the whole club is a mess, it’s embarrassing.”

“Rafa obviously feels he’s taken enough punches and he’s decided to have a go back,” he added, “Rafa will live and die by the results and they have not been good enough.”

Despite recent quotes, it appears Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez will finish the season in charge of the defending European Champions.


Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has signed a new one-year deal that will keep him in red for a 23rd season.

Giggs has made 931 appearances for Manchester United, and this new deal means the winger will play past his 40th birthday.

Ryan Giggs will have the opportunity to make his 1000th appearance for club and country on Tuesday, when Manchester United face Real Madrid in the second-leg of their Champions League tie.


Rafael Benitez has no regrets over joining Chelsea. (REPORT)

Former Tottenham captain Ledley King believes Gareth Bale is in no rush to leave White Hart Lane. (REPORT)

André Villas-Boas says his Chelsea sacking has made him a better manager. (REPORT)

Santi Cazorla says soccer in England is less tactical than in Spain, but that makes it more fun. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Open to a winter World Cup? Is Alan Shearer off the mark? What can be done to eliminate racism from soccer?

Share your comments below.


  • downintexas

    Fine the club, fine the supporters group (if remarks are coming from them) and put a life time ban on anyone that make the chants.

    You can’t stop idiots from being racist but you can keep them from ruining the game.


    • wfrw07

      Screw fines. Make these clubs play in empty stadiums. For starters, the amount they lose in ticket sales and concessions is much bigger than the fines are. Second, the clubs would face serious backlash from those fans not involved to punish those responsible from every entering a stadium again.


  • Citizen

    I would have preferred if World Cup 2022 was played in the United States. The suggestion that the tournament be played in the winter is making the Qatar bid look even more like a joke. In addition to that, the World Cup in Russia in 2018 is just as ridiculous as well with their weather and social issues. You can expect these kinds of decisions to be made by the corrupt clowns running FIFA.


    • Oranje Mike

      What weather issues does Russia have in the summer. Russia certainly has political and social issues but that is par for the course with FIFA. Italy hosted under fascism and Argentina hosted despite military dictatorship in power Not to mention that we are not squeaky clean either.


      • A

        Form of government is really irrelevant.

        The fact is that life in many parts of the Russia is run by mob bosses. You pay bribes for every and anything. Aside from the really overt racism that will undoubtedly come out, the mafia control is whole other story.


  • HoboMike

    Interesting how the concept of a winter World Cup was brought up, and FIFA quickly squashed that idea prior to the votes being held. They expressly stated that the WC is a summer event.

    The voting process started, and now all of a sudden we’re hearing that it will be in the winter. Yeah, not corrupt at all.

    This can’t work. All of the major leagues will need to take a significant break. On the plus side, it looks like MLS will follow the international calendar in 2022!


    • Judging Amy

      Exactly. Such blatant, boldfaced BS. This pack of corrupt cowards have zero shame. I thought they had viewed this “stadium A/C” technology through a scaled model and been assured it would work. Now all of a sudden, it’s dangerous? FIFA is a disgrace.


    • Rich

      Who’s buying up all the TV rights to the leagues that would need to take a break? Hmmm…. who owns that company?


  • el paso tx

    In that case USA could of gotten world cup 2022, I understand russia for 2018 but 2022 was for the USA and MLS growth, now USA will have to battle Canada, Mexico and even some Asian country. Well by 2026, MLS will have 26 teams, two conferences with 13 in each. MLS will be the number 2 sport in MLS2 or NASL and for sure an MLS3 wich will be the academy teams. I wonder by 2026 who will be the Beckham of MLS, maybe Neymar or which top coach will be in MLS.


    • el paso tx-we love soccer

      What about high salary cap, 6dps, free agency, no discovery rule and maybe nike,puma,lotto,adidas and MLSchannel. mmmmm that sounds good by 2026 or even 2022


      • Edwin in LA

        I wouldn’t worry about Mexico….have you seen their stadiums or tourist warnings by state department…..?

        Canada….Meh….I still think we have too many state of the art NFL stadiums with the type of Luxury boxes to accommodate all the delegates, Sponsor VIPs and press and most are wide enough for FIFA size fields……add to that all the cities already having plenty of hotel rooms and for the most part good transport systems….Canada and Mexico wouldn’t be the big contender….Japan or S. Korea or eve Australia….that’s another story….


    • Chupacabra

      In 2026 Neymar will be wearing a sequined dress and singing Celine Dion songs in a Bangkok brothel.


  • Rich

    Considering the fact that by 2022, BeIN sports will own the rights to every league, there will be no one to complain about the interruption in the regular season schedule as European leagues go on hiatus.

    This was a done deal as soon as Quatar stole the cup. FIFA is a corrupt joke.

    It’s hot in the middle east in July? Ohhhhhh, now you tell us.


  • Brain Guy

    So this clown says he needs to see if the medical evidence will show that summer heat in Qatar is dangerous? He needs doctors to tell him that it will be dangerous? What a bunch of corrupt and shameless bums. If it suited them they would declare that up was down and expect everyone to believe it.


  • Miles

    Shouldn’t have Qatar’s bid included whether it was going to host in the winter or summer in the first place?


  • Old School

    I assume clubs around Europe with whom this will affect the most have a general say about this, no?

    With the amount of investments they have in their players, could we see a boycott/mass-petition against changing the WC schedule.

    This will affect the season before the WC, the season of the WC and the season after, to adjust the schedule accordingly.

    I just don’t see clubs allowing this without a fight.


  • Old School

    I assume clubs around Europe with whom this will affect the most have a general say about this, no?

    With the amount of investments they have in their players, could we see a boycott/mass-petition against changing the WC schedule.

    This will affect the season before the WC, the season of the WC and the season after, to adjust the schedule accordingly.

    I just don’t see clubs allowing this without a fight.


  • DaveInSLO

    Screw this. Qatar made promises when they bid for the 2022 WC. They were outrageous, stupid, pie-in-the-sky promises but they were the basis on which their bid was founded. Time to make good on those promises. You don’t get to say whatever it takes to win the bid and then reverse course and make everyone else concede and suffer because you can’t deliver on your overly-ambitious plans. This should be viewed as a default on behalf of the Qatari organizing committee and the Cup should go back up for bid. It’s not like 2022 is right around the corner.


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