London: The row at Fifa over the timing of the 2022 World Cup intensified on Thursday after Michel Platini accused Sepp Blatter and Jerome Valcke of disrespecting their own executive committee.
Platini, the Uefa president and Fifa vice-president, condemned the latter’s president and secretary general for their repeated public pronouncements indicating the tournament in Qatar would be moved to November or December.
The latest of those was delivered on French radio by Valcke on Wednesday, prompting an angry response from Fifa’s British vice-president, Jim Boyce, who insisted the decision over any switch lay with the governing body’s ExCo.
Platini, who could stand against Blatter for the Fifa presidency in 2015, was even more nonplussed, telling a French daily: “When the executive committee was held in early October, it was decided to launch a major consultation of all football and no decision would be taken before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It was also agreed not to talk about this before then.
“I do not see why it is discussed publicly. Two months ago, Blatter spoke about it. Now it’s Valcke. This is supposed to be a decision for the executive committee of Fifa. But maybe the executive committee doesn’t matter.
“If the decision has already been taken then it does not even need to meet, except for those people who enjoy chatting.”
Platini has admitted voting for Qatar to host the tournament and has long campaigned for a winter switch due to the extreme summer temperatures there.
He added: “We have to consult the entire football family before making a decision.”
Meanwhile, Everton boss Roberto Martinez claims players would find it difficult to cope with a World Cup slap in the middle of their domestic club season.
He said: “I can’t see how a player’s mentality would be fine for going into a season, then starting the World Cup and then coming back and picking up where they left it. I find it very difficult to find a way that would work.
“It happens in some South American countries where you’ve got two parts of the season and the performances of the teams are very, very different. I can’t see that working, at all.
“I think that would affect the performances of the team and therefore affect the competition as a whole.”
Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis believes there would be strong resistance in England to any switch.
Pulis said: “I think there’s a long way (to go); I don’t think this country would sit back idly and allow that to happen.”
Hull’s manager Steve Bruce admitted it was “impossible” to play in the summer in Qatar.
He said: “Something has to be done because to try and play in that summer will not just be impossible for players but even supporters who are going to be watching in that humidity.
“It’s just ridiculous so it wouldn't surprise me if it’s moved as playing in winter makes more sense.
“We’ll all have a bit of a problem with that but it’s up to FIFA to find a solution.”