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Friday Kickoff: Platini backs winter World Cup, Houston re-signs Boswell and more

Platini (Getty Images)

It remains to be seen whether the 2022 World Cup will be played in the summer or the winter, but one high-ranking FIFA official has a solution to ensure a winter World Cup gets played without a problem: Move the two biggest competitions in European club soccer. 

Ahead of Friday's Euro 2012 draw in the Ukraine, UEFA president Michel Platini said that he is open to moving the UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions in order to accommodate a winter World Cup in Qatar.

"If we play in winter, not a problem to organize it," said Platini, who admitted to voting for Qatar over the other candidates in an interview with Al Jazeera. "How can people go to Qatar in 50 degrees (celsius) in June? If the people can't come to enjoy it, it's not good. If we play in winter it will be not a problem. Instead (of stopping the season) in May you play until June, and then stop in December. Where is the problem?"

Here are a few more stories to get your Friday going:


One of the more intriguing names on the MLS Re-Entry Draft list is no longer eligible for selection.

Bobby Boswell and the Houston Dynamo agreed to a new deal Thursday, one that extends the starting centerback's stay with the club. Terms of the deal were not released.

Boswell, whose 2011 salary figure was $210,000, was a key component of Houston's run to MLS Cup and has been with the club for the last four seasons. Houston had until Friday at 5 p.m. to come to terms with him on a new deal before exposing him to the first phase of the Re-Entry Draft, which takes place on Monday.


It didn't take Sunderland very long to find a successor for Steve Bruce.

Two days after firing Bruce, the club reportedly has a deal in place with former Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill to take over on the sidelines.

O'Neill, who won't coach the Black Cats' game against Wolverhampton this weekend, last managed in the 2009-2010 season, stepping down from his post at Villa just days before the 2010-2011 campaign was set to start. He'll be charged with turning around a team that has won just twice in 13 league games and sits 16th in the Premier League table.


Real Salt Lake traded midfielder Jean Alexandre to the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft.

The Haitian international never really lived up to expectations with RSL after being the 12th overall pick in the 2009 SuperDraft. He was thrust into a forward role because of team injuries during the summer and responded with some promising performances, including a goal and an assist against the Vancouver Whitecaps in June.

Alexandre is the second player to be acquired in as many days by the Earthquakes, after the team dealt allocation money to Vancouver for Shea Salinas on Wednesday. 


What do you think of Platini's comments? Think Houston made the right move by re-signing Boswell? Do you see O'Neill turning things around at Sunderland? Can you see Alexandre playing a big role for San Jose?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Embrace the power of “and”.

    I can get worked up over the corruption of FIFA, AND the corruption of Wall Street and the big banks.

    Read some Dave Zirin. You’ll get the best of both worlds. 🙂

  2. I almost wonder if a bunch of people voted for Qatar so they could collect their payoffs but thinking there is no way Qatar would actually win. And now they are thinking, “sh*t, this is for real.””

  3. Everything is just about money, FIFA officials knew then and know now that it was the worst candidacy, Australia had a better infrastructure to host the event. I´m sick of this issue, we were robbed.

  4. Unlikely. We’ve been using Hainault at right back. This was a ploy to get Boswell to re-sign for less. If it backfired, Hainault wouldve have moved to center back with Sarkodie covering at right, not a bad drop. But now, expect the Dynamo defense to be exactly the same as it was at the end of this past season.

  5. Apparently the engineers in Qatar now say it is impossible to air-condition the stadiums, something that was promised in the bid.

  6. Great, I’ll be 88 by then, at least I won’t have to travel. Of course:

    “No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.” – L. Tomlin

  7. When is there going to be a true investigation of the FIFA voting? Nobody can look me in the eye and tell me Qatar didn’t buy this WC.

  8. “Get over this. It’s a one-month sporting event”

    Belittling the World Cup pretty much wrecks your credibility here.

    Also, I’d put money on 2026 going to either a UEFA country or China or Australia. And 2030 will go to a UEFA country or an Asian country, whichever didn’t get 2026. Our next shot is probably 2034.

  9. fischy, nobody gives a damn about your delusional left-wing politics. Even if the United States had not bid for either 2018 or 2022, awarding the cup to Qatar smells fishy (no pun intended). Given how corrupt most national and continental soccer federations are, it’s perfectly logical to guess that Platini would be acting under “orders” from Sarkozy.

    The fact of the matter, fischy, is that the vast majority of us who love soccer are sick and tired of the blatant corruption at the sport’s highest levels. This isn’t merely about the U.S. not hosting a World Cup. It’s about the kind of pervasive, internal corruption that makes the Catholic hierarchy look like the Salvation Army.

  10. wow, what a joke this guy (and all the big shot FIFA admins) are. Absolutly no respect for them..

    the best part is MLS won’t be affected either way but if I was an EPL or other fall-spring league fan I would just not participate in this WC.

    Also this has to guarentee either USA or England ’26 World Cup as FIFA will need to recouperate and run an “less risky/more feasible” world cup after this mess.

  11. That’s what they would hope for after the disaster that would take place. Players would probably need oxygen masks to survive playing 90 minutes.

  12. Schools start up in the US (not sure about other countries off the top of my head) and there are still some religious holidays in some countries. If schooling is going on, that kills a crap ton of travel.

  13. Yeah, but who knows what could happen in 10 years. Either way, something’s got to give, we shouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place.

  14. I don’t want to get my hopes up but I hope so badly you are right.

    For some reason I think FIFA will let this WC happen in the heat before they give it to someone else. They could care less about the fan/player experience. They’ll find some way to spin it as an adequate environment.


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