Football: Final of 2022 World Cup to be held no later than Dec 18, assures Blatter

Fifa chief Sepp Blatter said on Friday that the 2022 World Cup final would not be held two days before Christmas but also ruled out paying compensation to European clubs for the winter tournament. -- PHOTO: EPA
Fifa chief Sepp Blatter said on Friday that the 2022 World Cup final would not be held two days before Christmas but also ruled out paying compensation to European clubs for the winter tournament. -- PHOTO: EPA

BELFAST (AFP) - Fifa chief Sepp Blatter said on Friday that the 2022 World Cup final would not be held two days before Christmas but also ruled out paying compensation to European clubs for the winter tournament.

The governing body's hints that the final of the Qatar tournament could be played on Dec 23 caused a backlash, particularly from British football leaders.

But Blatter, speaking in Belfast ahead of a meeting of the International Football Association board, said the 2022 World Cup would finish no later than Dec 18.

"Not until the 23rd, definitely not. We have to stop at the 18th," he noted.

He acknowledged the anger of European leagues over the decision to hold a winter World Cup. But he said clubs and leagues would have to prepare.

"There are more than six years - particularly seven years - to prepare.

"There will be a solution and I'm sure everybody will be fine."

Blatter said no compensation would be paid, despite demands by the European Clubs' Association.

He had spoken with European clubs chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge "to see how a solution can be found".