BY DAN KARELL
Add Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to the list of high profile officials calling for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be staged in the winter months.
Rummenigge returned to Germany following a visit to Qatar last week, where he had the opportunity to meet many officials and tour some of the potential stadiums. While he still believes that the tiny country located on the Arabian Peninsula deserves to host the world cup, the former World Cup forward himself believes that, for the players and fans safety, the tournament should take place in cooler temperatures, according to an interview with German publication TZ.
Rummenigge joins the likes of UEFA President Michel Platini and FIFA Vice-President Ali Bin Al Hussein, who both support a winter World Cup in Qatar. FIFA President Joseph Sepp Blatter stated last month that an official decision would not come until after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil concludes.
Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:
VILLA ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL
No sooner than 36 hours after scoring a goal in Barcelona’s 6-1 demolition of Getafe on Sunday afternoon, was forward David Villa admitted to a hospital and diagnosed with kidney stones.
The 31-year-old forward now faces yet another blow in his quest to return to the starting XI of Barcelona full time, as he will be on the sidelines for at least a week while he recovers from the illness.
Villa, who has been linked all season with a move away from the Camp Nou, has scored 11 goals in 26 matches for the Catalonian club in all competitions.
WILSHERE TO RETURN NEXT WEEK
Arsenal fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as midfielder Jack Wilshere’s thigh injury is not as bad as the club originally expected.
The England international will be rested for this Saturday’s FA Cup match against Blackburn, but should be in line to face Bayern Munich next Tuesday in the Champions League. Wilshere limped off with the injury last Saturday in Arsenal’s match against Sunderland in the 50th minute.
The 21-year-old has been a key member of Arsenal’s first team all season since coming back from injury in late October, after missing 14 months of action. Teammate Thomas Vermaelen is still struggling from an ankle knock, and may not be ready to face Munich next week.
NIGERIA COACH KESHI RESCINDS RESIGNATION
In a dramatic about-face, Nigeria manager Stephen Keshi has withdrawn his resignation, and has agreed to continue on as the boss of the national team.
Following Nigeria’s 1-0 win in the African Cup of Nations finals over Burkina Faso, Keshi had announced publicly that he would submit his resignation over the post. However, following talks with Nigeria’s Minister of Sport, Keshi reportedly has decided to keep his role.
Since taking charge in November 2011, Keshi has amassed a record of ten wins, ten draws, and just two losses. Nigeria’s next match will be March 22 in a World Cup qualifier against Kenya, and they’ll begin play at the FIFA Confederations Cup against Tahiti on June 17.
Borussia Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp has reiterated his desire to stay at the Westfalenstadion, shooting down any plans for a move to Chelsea FC. (REPORT)
Anzhi Makachkala forward Samuel Eto’o has declared that the Cameroonian Football Association wants him dead. (REPORT)
Former Arsenal midfielder and Barcelona youth product Fran Merida has signed to play for Atletico Paranaense in Brazil’s Serie A. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you believe we are closer than ever to seeing a winter World Cup? Do you see Wilshere starting and contributing for Arsenal next week? Think Nigeria can make a run in the Confederations Cup?
Share your thoughts below.