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Clubs want lots of money to agree to winter 2022 World Cup in Qatar

Alexander Hassenstein

Everyone knows that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is a really bad idea, but clubs probably aren't going to get anywhere with demanding that the tournament be relocated. Instead, European Club Association and Bayern Munich executive committee chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is talking about potential solutions, including moving the tournament to the winter.

But, of course, he's not supporting a winter World Cup unconditionally.

"Everyone will have to pay a price to play the tournament in Qatar."

Wait, what price is that?

"In principle, the ECA is willing to discuss to move the World Cup, be it November, January or whenever, but on one condition -- club football and the leagues shall not be the only ones to pay the bill."

Hold up, pay what bill?

"The first thing we must recognise is that FIFA's decision was based on holding the World Cup in the summer of 2022. If we change from summer to November or January then it will affect our business and our calendar."

Is he saying what I think he's saying?

"We are not ready to pay such a bill. That cost cannot be paid for by the clubs. It has to be made clear to FIFA that they need the goodwill of the clubs or we are not ready to talk."

He is! Rummenigge is saying that European clubs are willing to play along with FIFA to facilitate a winter World Cup ... if they get paid off. FIFA just has to write all the leagues a fat check and they'll gladly re-arrange their calendar to allow the World Cup to be played in Qatar during the winter.

This doesn't seem particularly feasible, of course. Even more than a big check, Rummenigge and the other people that run huge football clubs would rather see the World Cup not played in Qatar at all, summer or winter, because it'll either be bad for their business or dangerous for their players. FIFA and leagues probably can't ever come to an agreement about how much each league gets or how that would be determined, and they'd walk to the negotiating table tens -- if not hundreds -- of millions apart.

Only eight more years of this stuff to go!