Edwin van der Sar has his doubts about it World Cup in Qatar which will take place in the middle of the season. The global football tournament will officially start in two days, while the competitions in Europe are about halfway.
“Yes, it’s strange,” Van der Sar starts off in an interview with The Athletic. “I have been to Qatar before. We have had several training camps with Ajax. It’s compact. We played in one of the stadiums and it was great. I wonder how they can fill the stadiums now.’
As a fan, Van der Sar was present during the World Cup in Brazil. ‘Then you travel between the different cities and that also entails something. It is a new adventure in the Middle East, the Arab world, where they have invested a lot of time and money in the preparation. We’ll see what happens.’
World Cup in winter
Van der Sar, who is vice-chairman of the ECA, has often spoken about a World Cup that will be held in the middle of the season. Previously, the plan was to hold the World Cup in Qatar in the summer. “For example, I was in Dubai in the summer and then it is very hot,” said Van der Sar, who saw that the World Cup in Qatar was eventually moved to the winter. ‘The question was what this would mean for the leagues.’
Ajax is handing eleven players to the World Cup in Qatar, so the club has lost many players in the middle of the season. The question is how they are going to do there. And: how are we going to prepare these players for the restart of the season?’ Van der Sar wonders.
Abuses in Qatar
Finally, the director also briefly commented on the abuses in Qatar. However, Van der Sar does not want to say much about it. “I’m a director of a football club, so my focus is on the players there. We must accept the choice of Qatar. I know there are many issues being discussed by Amnesty and other organizations. It’s good that attention is being paid to it and that should ensure that there are changes in the short and long term.’
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