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Olympics boss confident of avoiding World Cup clash

Thomas Bach: World Cup wont affect 2022 Winter Olympics. Picture: Getty

Thomas Bach: World Cup wont affect 2022 Winter Olympics. Picture: Getty

  • by NICK FREESTONE
 

INTERNATIONAL Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach is “not worried at all” about a potential clash between a winter World Cup in Qatar and the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Bach says he has spoken to Fifa president Sepp Blatter and is confident football’s world governing body is working towards a November tournament, which would avoid a clash with the IOC’s winter showcase, rather than a potentially problematic shift to January or February.

The German, who won a team fencing gold medal at the 1976 Olympics, told the BBC: “I will not speculate.

“So far we have heard the proposal by the Fifa president to have it in November 2022, and there would be no clash whatsoever.

“I’m not worried at all. What I know is that I spoke with president Blatter about this proposal, November, and there would be no conflict at all.

“About the rest I will not speculate because I am sure that in the mutual interest of the World Cup and the Olympic Winter Games, that there will be no clash with the dates.”

Fifa’s executive committee is due to decide on the principle of moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar away from the tournament’s traditional summer slot at its meeting in Zurich on Thursday and Friday.

The membership of Europe’s governing body Uefa have given their overall backing to Fifa moving the tournament to the winter – to avoid the extreme heat of the summer – though some expressed a preference to play in January and February.

Those dates would have a direct effect on the Winter Olympics – and the IOC would stand in the way of any such move, with the organisation having the ultimate sanction of kicking football out of the Olympics.

The committee will also discuss the issue of mistreatment of migrant workers at the same time after a newspaper report alleging that Nepalese workers in Qatar “face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery”.

 

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