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Manchester United Legend Says Winter World Cup Will Be Best Thing That’s Ever Happened to England

The World Cup is likely to be in the winter of 2022, instead of summer…

Former England and Manchester United defender Phil Neville believes the prospect of a winter World Cup in Qatar will be beneficial to England and present a greater chance of winning it.

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A FIFA task force, which included Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, has recommended that the 2022 World Cup be held in winter.

The reasons for doing so being because a January/February tournament will clash with the Winter Olympics, April would clash with Ramadan, which begins on the 2nd of the month, while the conditions are simply too hot between the months of May and September as temperatures regularly exceed 40C.

As a result of this there has been uproar from many in Europe as it is thought it will devalue the customary season calendar.

Neville though, believes it could be an advantage for England.

“We normally go into a World Cup at the end of a long, hard, nine-month season when our players are absolutely dead on their feet,” the former Everton man told BBC Sport

“For an England team, this might be the best thing that’s ever happened.”

The task force has been accused of damaging the traditions of the English season by disrupting the programme of Christmas fixtures, though Neville believes the positives outweigh the negatives.

“I visit Qatar two to three times a year and to play it in the summer months would be impossible,” he continued.

“If I was Roy Hodgson I’d be licking my lips , ‘take me to the Qatar World Cup now because we’ll have the freshest ever national team going to a World Cup’.”

England captain Wayne Rooney has played an average of 50 matches domestically and internationally in the seasons preceding the last three World Cups, but in 2022 an average England player will have played just 14 matches between the season and the end of October.

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