German Bundesliga

Mounting pressure vs. Qatar 2022 World Cup, as England heads nations asking for switch

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Huge opposition is building against the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

On Friday evening the new head of the English Football Association, Greg Dyke, asked FIFA to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter or another country altogether.

The tiny desert nation has been under intense scrutiny ever since it was awarded the mammoth event and now several nations around the world are condemning FIFA’s decisions to take the tournament to Qatar.

FIFA itself deemed Qatar as “high risk” when completing an inspection of the nation’s bid in 2010, with searing summer temperatures in the Persian Gulf often hitting 50 C (120 F).

Dyke hit out at the decision to host the even in Qatar and discussed the FA’s stance.

“The FA’s position will be you can’t play it in summer in Qatar,” said Dyke. “FIFA therefore has two choices … you either move it in time or to another location. Someone should have worked that out in 2010 when it was awarded. It’s genuinely becoming accepted that you can’t play it in Qatar in the summer.”

(MORE: Qatar to purchase 118 tanks to prepare for 2022 World Cup)

And to echo Dyke’s comments, the Bundesliga’s chief executive Christian Seifert said that a winter tournament could disrupt European football for three years, slamming FIFA for ignoring “leagues who are effectively the core and the heart of football.” Recently head of FIFA Sepp Blatter has said the notion of a winter World Cup will be discussed by the governing bodies leading heads. But what is their to discuss?

The evidence is stacked up against holding a World Cup in Qatar.So, what are the options at his point?

Well, luckily, we are nine years away from the event taking place. So time’s on our side. But a decision needs to be made, one way or another, by FIFA’s executives very soon. Switching to winter time in Qatar would make the most sense, but many would argue that taking the tournament away from the tiny Arab nation would be the best move. England and the United States of America have been mooted as potential back up host nations.

(MORE: Sepp Blatter says 2022 World Cup should be played in winter, here we go…)

Air-conditioned outside stadiums were promised in Qatar, so far the technology is still lagging behind for that. The Qatari government has bought 118 tanks and other military equipment to deal with possible terrorist attacks and fan violence. But will fans really be able to function in that type of heat?

Time for Dyke to step in again: “I don’t know how many people have been to Qatar in June – I have,” Dyke said. “The one thing I can tell you is you can’t play a football tournament in Qatar in June. Also, it would be impossible for the fans. Just go out there, wander around in that sort of heat.”

And we have to take another tragic factor on board, as Christian “Chucho” Benítez recently died following a practice game in Qatar. The 27-year-old Ecuadorian forward had just switched to El Jaish from Club America and was use to playing in the extreme heat of Mexico, but he suffered a heart attack and many other issues after playing for the first-time in the relentless Qatari summer heat. As yet, the exact cause of his death hasn’t been linked to the conditions in the Middle Eastern nation, but surely it had to play some factor.

(MORE: Tragedy strikes as Ecuador star Christian Benítez, 27, dies in Qatar)

With problems mounting up for Qatar and leading European giants totally opposed to playing the World Cup there at all, where do we go from here?

FIFA has a lot of work to do before the 2022 showpiece tournament. If it remains in Qatar, it simply must be in the winter time. That won’t win FIFA many friends with the top European leagues, but it won’t put fans or players in danger.

But holding a World Cup in 120 degree heat during the Qatari summer, will.

Spat continues as Jurgen Klopp dismisses Lewandowski’s complaints

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Robert Lewandowski won’t be a Borussia Dortmund player next season, we all know that. Even Dortmund’s manager Jurgen Klopp has said so.

But while he’s there, Klopp doesn’t expect any problems. At all.

Yesterday Lewandowski accused directors of failing to keep their word after blocking any potential move to Bayern Munich over the summer. So now Lewandowski will have to wait out his contract until it expires next year and leave Dortmund for nothing.

However Klopp is standing firm and isn’t concerned with what the Polish international is saying.

“For me what he does is a thousand times more important than what he says because what he does needs no interpretation,” Klopp said.”Whatever is left to be discussed will be discussed internally. The idea is to close this subject. Everything is in order. Nothing has changed since yesterday or the day before yesterday. I am convinced we will clear up everything in the coming days.”

So does that mean Lewandowski’s sulking around the place will stop? Will the directors and manager come to an agreement to sell him? Or maybe they will get the 24-year-old to sign a new cont… scratch that, never in a million years will that happen.

Has Lewandowski forced Klopp and Dortmund into a corner with his accusations? After leading Dortmund to the Champions League final and hammering home four goals in the 4-1 semifinal home win against Real Madrid, Lewandowski seems to have got above his station a little bit.

(MORE: Borussia Dortmund’s goal — minimizing Robert Lewandowski’s grudge)

Yes, he put in some stunning displays and led the line admirably against the elite of European soccer. But he did have the support form some of Europe’s leading midfielders feeding him chance after chance.

This is was Lewandowski was quoted as saying about the tricky situation he is now in at Dortmund.

I always give everything. To be honest with you I feel cheated by Borussia. I don’t know if I will be unaffected by the situation. It’s there in my subconscious and there will be a time when I will turn up for a game in a bad mood.

He seems to have thrown all the faith and trust Dortmund put in him back in their faces. When he left Poland’s Lech Poznań at the age of 21, Lewandowski failed to settle straight away in Germany. But BVB kept faith in him and now he’s developed into one of the hottest properties in Europe. He’s done it himself, but don’t be fooled because Borussia have helped him plenty along the way.

Should the German club been more accommodating and let Lewandwoski leave this summer? Perhaps. It seems pretty stubborn and silly that they will loose out on millions of dollars just because they didn’t want to sell Lewandowski to Bayern after losing Mario Goëtze to their Bundesliga rivals earlier in the summer.

However this plays out, there will be no great winner. Lewandowski looks like the bad guy for turning his back on Dortmund and the club look silly for keeping a player around who clearly doesn’t want to, and won’t, be there nine months from now.

Something has to give. Maybe the next few days will seem some movement, as the giant Pole looks to move on. But he should remember, the grass isn’t always greener in Bavaria.

Champions League Final infographic: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich

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The big day is almost upon us.

Tomorrow in Wembley Stadium, London, two giants of German soccer will square off for world soccer’s biggest prize, the UEFA Champions League trophy.

Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are bitter Bundesliga rivals who fight for domestic trophies in Germany, year in, year out. Often they can’t be separated.

But hopefully this infographic below can help you decide who’ll have the edge when kick arrives, in one of world sports greatest annual events on Saturday afternoon. Enjoy.

source:
Courtesy of Favourit

Deadline day snapshot: Rafael van der Vaart moves from Tottenham to Hamburg

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Hamburg welcomes back a prodigal son, with a former captain returning to the Imtech Arena after sowing oats in Madrid and London. For Rafael van der Vaart, the return to an adoring fan base helps soften the blow of losing his place at post-Redknapp Tottenham.

Who is this guy: From 2005 until fall 2008, Rafael van der Vaart was the key to Hamburg teams that third, seventh, fourth (since they’ve finished fifth, seventh, eight and 15th). At Real Madrid, van der Vaart never made an impact, though he was a huge success in his first year at Spurs, adapting to a behind-the-striker role supporting Peter Crouch. Last year, van der Vaart’s influence waned, and with the change of approach being implemented by André Villas-Boas, van der Vaart was no longer a good fit in North London.

What does he do: Van der Vaart is an above-average attacking midfielder who can both contribute and create goals, scoring 11 times while accuring 5 assists in last year’s Premier League. Not particularly fast, hard working, or tactically aware in defense, van der Vaart is a good fit for a team with personnel and goals that will allow him to be an attack-only defender. At Real Madrid, that combination was a poor fit, while at Tottenham, van der Vaart was able to adapt.

How much did he cost: Ten million pounds ($15.8 million). That’s more than Spurs paid for him, but not as much as chief executive Daniel Levy wanted.

How does he fit: Well, both in terms of on field and intangible contributions. Hamburg just finished a miserable season in which they amazingly battled relegation. This season didn’t look much better until they acquired van der Vaart, who should give HSV a big boost.

More deadline day snapshots? Click here. We’ll be cranking them out all day.