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Tuesday Kickoff: Bayern CEO calls for Winter World Cup, Villa admitted to hospital, and more


Add Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to the list of high profile officials calling for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be staged in the winter months.

Rummenigge returned to Germany following a visit to Qatar last week, where he had the opportunity to meet many officials and tour some of the potential stadiums. While he still believes that the tiny country located on the Arabian Peninsula deserves to host the world cup, the former World Cup forward himself believes that, for the players and fans safety, the tournament should take place in cooler temperatures, according to an interview with German publication TZ.

Rummenigge joins the likes of UEFA President Michel Platini and FIFA Vice-President Ali Bin Al Hussein, who both support a winter World Cup in Qatar. FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter stated last month that an official decision would not come until after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil concludes.

Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:


No sooner than 36 hours after scoring a goal in Barcelona’s 6-1 demolition of Getafe on Sunday afternoon, was forward David Villa admitted to a hospital and diagnosed with kidney stones.

The 31-year-old forward now faces yet another blow in his quest to return to the starting XI of Barcelona full time, as he will be on the sidelines for at least a week while he recovers from the illness.

Villa, who has been linked all season with a move away from the Camp Nou, has scored 11 goals in 26 matches for the Catalonian club in all competitions.


Arsenal fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as midfielder Jack Wilshere’s thigh injury is not as bad as the club originally expected.

The England international will be rested for this Saturday’s FA Cup match against Blackburn, but should be in line to face Bayern Munich next Tuesday in the Champions League. Wilshere limped off with the injury last Saturday in Arsenal’s match against Sunderland in the 50th minute.

The 21-year-old has been a key member of Arsenal’s first team all season since coming back from injury in late October, after missing 14 months of action. Teammate Thomas Vermaelen is still struggling from an ankle knock, and may not be ready to face Munich next week.


In a dramatic about-face, Nigeria manager Stephen Keshi has withdrawn his resignation, and has agreed to continue on as the boss of the national team.

Following Nigeria’s 1-0 win in the African Cup of Nations finals over Burkina Faso, Keshi had announced publicly that he would submit his resignation over the post. However, following talks with Nigeria’s Minister of Sport, Keshi reportedly has decided to keep his role.

Since taking charge in November 2011, Keshi has amassed a record of ten wins, ten draws, and just two losses. Nigeria’s next match will be March 22 in a World Cup qualifier against Kenya, and they’ll begin play at the FIFA Confederations Cup against Tahiti on June 17.


Borussia Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp has reiterated his desire to stay at the Westfalenstadion, shooting down any plans for a move to Chelsea FC. (REPORT)

Anzhi Makachkala forward Samuel Eto’o has declared that the Cameroonian Football Association wants him dead. (REPORT)

Former Arsenal midfielder and Barcelona youth product Fran Merida has signed to play for Atletico Paranaense in Brazil’s Serie A. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Do you believe we are closer than ever to seeing a winter World Cup? Do you see Wilshere starting and contributing for Arsenal next week? Think Nigeria can make a run in the Confederations Cup?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. A winter World Cup? Well isn’t that just grand. Here’s an idea: How about Qatar keeps some of the outrageous pledges on which they built their asinine WC bid. Remember air conditioned stadiums? Remember remote control clouds for shade? Remember not having to jack up the schedule for the rest of the football world just so we can have a World Cup in a country completely ill-suited to host such an event?

    So, I guess the lesson here is… just make whatever outrageous claims are deemed necessary (along with whatever bribes are necessary) to get the rest of the world to agree to your ridiculous pipe-dream of a plan and then let everyone else dance around the steaming pile of broken promises once the lunacy of the original bid becomes obvious.

    Don’t do it. Don’t adjust the WC schedule for Qatar. They sold FIFA a bill of goods. Now make them make good on their BS. Or better yet: Rip that bid and give it to Australia…or China…or the USA or some country that can actually host this thing.

  2. A winter World Cup ought to be good for MLS. It would remove the competition for interest among US fans, and it should mean that the best MLSers would have more time with their clubs. It might also bring more attention worldwide to MLS than would be normal, since there are usually other competitions in the summer that get more attention. If there’s no World Cup in Summer 2022, there might be little else on the schedule besides MLS, depending on what schedule other leagues adopt for that year.

  3. Wasn’t Karl-Heinz Rummenigge initially adamantly opposed to the WC in Qatar when it was first announced? Seems a change of heart after a personal visit and FC Bayern had winter camp there. Hmmmm.

  4. If FIFA tries to have a winter World Cup in 2022, I could see that as being the last straw for the big UEFA clubs to withdraw from FIFA altogether. They’re really like the NCAA at this point: nobody who matters really needs them, there just hasn’t been a catastrophic event to bring about a change yet.

    There does need to be SOME overarching international organization for all soccer, but if the big Champions League teams (Man Utd, Barca, Real Madrid, Bayern, etc) decided tomorrow to start a new international federation, rewrite their own international calendar, and host their own international cup every 4 years, FIFA would immediately see how expendable they really are.

    The trademarked name “World Cup” isn’t what makes the World Cup the biggest tournament in the world, having the best players compete in it does. God I hope they’re not stupid enough to try this winter World Cup…

    • Lol. Don’t worry. Qatar promised air conditioned, open air stadiums with all sorts of new fangled technology. True, only 3 of the 12 promised stadiums currently exist and the Qataris have no idea if this A/C technology is actually possible since it’s never been tested, but those are minor quibbles in the face of Sepp Blatter’s justification for holding the WC in Qatar: Expanding the game into new frontiers and opening it up to all cultures. Blatter says, “we (FIFA) don’t want any discrimination. What we want to do is open this game to everybody, and to open it to all cultures, and this is what we are doing in 2022.”

      What’s that? Homosexuality is ILLEGAL in Qatar? Well, shoot. You got me there.

      • Desperate to complete the many stadiums it promised and doesn’t have yet(since it has no need for them outside of the World Cup), Qatar employs migrant laborers in its harsh weather conditions. Result: the migrant workers have been dying in the extreme heat and are virtually slaves due to a system where they’re dependent on their employer (keeps passport once they enter country) and unable to freely change jobs or move.

        This is what FIFA wanted? This is what FIFA and its delusional supporters are praising as progress? As a victory for “tolerance”?

      • For once, Sepp wasn’t the problem in the Qatar vote. He wanted it to be in the U.S. and had a hard time making up stuff to cover for the Executive Board’s nakedly corrupt decision. He’s done plenty of dirt and slime as President of FIFA but this one doesn’t seem to be his personal fault.

        Of course, that didn’t stop him from putting his foot in his mouth as usual with trying to cover for the Executive Board’s indefinsible decision.

  5. I wonder who and when will be the first MLS player to be transferred for 20million dollars. Altidore’s move to Villarreal 5years ago for 10mil looks like it might stand for another decade

  6. I dont see Villa playing for Spain too long. he is 31 and not at his Peak like 4years ago. Torres might just have a chance to get back in it if Llorente, Negredo, Soldado dont commit themselves


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