Soccer, MLS, UEFA, FIFA, World Cup

UEFA may go to summer schedule

1/10/14 in Soccer   |   w_g_walters   |   223 respect

UEFA ChairmanThere's been controversy over the schedule MLS plays ever since that first announcement two years ago. The USA has played in the summer for nineteen seasons, now, with no sign of switching besides getting fan input. Even Mexico's two-season year-round schedule hasn't gotten as much attention. It even affects the World Cup: Sam's Army may have the biggest climate disadvantage in Brazil, and possibly the biggest climate advantage upon qualifying for Qatar in 2022.

But UEFA chairman Karl-Heinz Rumminagge has now announced that UEFA is considering a summer schedule, while FIFA may reschedule 2022 for the winter. Never mind how many leagues play September-to-May schedules, or what it would do to the Qatari planning group's sense of how they want to do it. We'll hold the World Cup right around Ramadan, Christmas, Hanukkah, and any other holy days without fear of honking anyone off!

A major reason for fan resentment would be how hot summers get in Europe, which is why they play indoor sports during that time. England would be the exception, as they have a packed schedule while other leagues take a break.

MLS has worked better in the summer because it only goes head to head with MLB from May to August, and baseball's daily schedule allows another sport to provide relief. Football has the shortest season at four months, the NHL may not last another decade, and the NBA holds baseball's summer position in the spring. These times were chosen based on American interests because they have no foreign interests, so far as the schedule goes. UEFA is only considering this because of the bad decision to award 2022 to a nation smaller than most of the smaller U.S. states and hotter than Florida.

Don't think this about MLS becoming trailblazers; it's anything, but. MLS had nothing to do with this. But MLS has it's reasons for playing in the summer, just like UEFA and other areas have their reasons for playing in winter, FIFA has it's reasons for internationals being played in (northern) summer, and Mexico has it's reasons for playing year-round. This is backlash for a bad decision in awarding Qatar the World Cup.

The solution would be, simply, to admit Qatar was a bad decision. It's too late to change it, now, but there are still plenty of other options for FIFA to consider to fix some of the inherent problems without upsetting the people who keep the sport going--the fans.
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