Thursday Kickoff: Blatter wants winter World Cup; Olimpia takes lead in Libertadores final; and more

Thursday Kickoff: Blatter wants winter World Cup; Olimpia takes lead in Libertadores final; and more

South American Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Blatter wants winter World Cup; Olimpia takes lead in Libertadores final; and more

SeppBlatter2011 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With the backing of FIFA, the World Cup could be facing a revolutionary change.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has confirmed that he will recommend moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter when he meets with the FIFA Executive Committee in October. Despite knowing that temperatures can soar as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit, FIFA awarded Qatar the World Cup back in 2010.

“If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can’t play football in the summer,” Blatter said to the AP. “You can cool down the stadiums but you can’t cool down the whole country.”

Moving the World Cup to winter would have it’s complications, namely the restructuring of the league and continental tournaments in European leagues. The heads English Premier League have reportedly said they will oppose a winter World Cup.

The Executive Committee will meet on October 3 and 4 in Zurich, Switzerland. Ultimately, a switch to a winter World Cup will have to come from the local organizing committee in Qatar.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday started:

OLIMPIA TAKE LEAD IN COPA LIBERTADORES FINAL

Olimpia are just 90 minutes away from achieving South American glory.

The Paraguayan club, with the hopes of a nation behind them, took a 2-0 aggregate lead in the Copa Libertadores final after winning the first-leg match on Wednesday over Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro in Asuncion, Paraguay.

Alejandro Silva opened the scoring for Olimpia with a shot from the top of the box that dinked in off the post, igniting a wild celebration from the crowd and saw Silva yellow carded for removing his shirt. Adding to Atletico’s misery was a poor performance from Ronaldinho, who was substituted after just 65 minutes, and Richarlyson, who was sent off for a second yellow card in the 90th minute.

In the 5th minute of stoppage time, Wilson Pittoni scored a wonderful curling free kick for Olimpia to double the advantage over the Brazilian side. Olimpia last won the Copa Libertadores in 2002, which was their third ever title. Atletico have never won the Copa Libertadores.

CAS OVERTURN UEFA DECISION ON FENERBAHCE

Turkish club Fenerbahce say they will take part in this coming edition of the UEFA Champions League after all.

The club’s president, Aziz Yildrim, has announced on the club’s official Youtube channel that the Court of Arbitration of Sport have blocked UEFA’s decision to ban Fenerbahce over match fixing. Fenerbahce is alleged to have fixed matches in the 2010-2011 season, with the club having been banned from European play in 2011-2012 by their own federation, and Yildirim having been sentenced to jail for the offenses. He is currently appealing the decision.

Fenerbahce were set to take part in the third round of qualifying in this year’s Champions League, set to begin on July 30/31. At the moment, Bursaspor have been entered in the competition instead.

QUICK KICKS

Corinthians have won the South American Supercup (Recopa Sudamericana) over Copa Sudamericana champion Sao Paulo with an aggregate score of 4-1. (REPORT)

Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic is set to complete a transfer to Manchester City. (REPORT)

Arsenal wingback Andre Santos could be set for another loan move to Brazil, with Flamengo the team rumored for Santos’ services. (REPORT)

Atletico Nacional has won the Colombian Primera Division with a 2-0 victory over Independiente Santa Fe. (REPORT)

The Bahrain Football Association is interested in appointing former Werder Bremen manager Thomas Schaaf to be the head coach of the Bahrain National Team. (REPORT)

Former Chelsea winger Florent Malouda has joined Turkish side Trabzonspor on a free transfer. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Qatar staging a winter World Cup? Do you believe Olimpia can win the second leg? Do you agree with the CAS’ decision?

Share your thoughts below.

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