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Jan 12, 2011

Platini: Qatar should share World Cup

FIFA vice president Michel Platini has called for the 2022 World Cup to be played across the whole of the Persian Gulf rather than just in Qatar.

• Blatter wants winter World Cup

Platini, who is also president of UEFA, did not specify which neighbouring countries Qatar could invite to stage matches, but said there was time to reach agreements.

His call is likely to fuel the controversy sparked by FIFA president Sepp Blatter saying he expected the tournament to be played in the winter - neither proposal was suggested during last year's World Cup bidding.

Platini said: "I hope it will be a World Cup of the Gulf. It could be the World Cup of Qatar but played in the Gulf. I think we need political people (for this to happen), but I think so.''

Asked why such drastic changes could be considered when they were never mentioned during the bidding campaign, Platini added: "Who will remember the words in 12 years? In 12 years everybody will be happy to have a very well-organised World Cup and not remember what's happened before.

"When I organised the World Cup in France we did (things) differently from what we proposed in the bid.''

Platini did not speak about playing the 2022 World Cup in January but raised the prospect of a major change to the football calendar.

He added: "When I came in 1998 as advisor to Sepp Blatter I worked on the international calendar and my proposal to Blatter was to play from February to December. FIFA was close to accepting that, then Italy and Spain said no because they wanted to play in winter. Finish.

"It is necessary to think what could be the future. I don't say to play in winter or not to play in winter but to think about what could be the calendar in the future.''

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