Sepp Blatter

Qatar 2022 World Cup in winter should not clash with Olympics

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The 2022 World Cup will not be played during the hot summer in Qatar, a FIFA official said, but the proposed time window would not cross into the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“The dates of the World Cup will not be in June or July,” FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke told France Inter Radio, according to Reuters. “I think it will be played between November 15 and January 15 the latest.”

Valcke’s comment agrees with what has been said before, though one of FIFA’s vice presidents denied the time frame had been decided Wednesday.

The Winter Olympics are traditionally held in February.

In November, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is also an International Olympic Committee member, said he didn’t want the 2022 World Cup to clash with the Olympics.

Around the same time, winter sports federations expressed concern over the World Cup possibly being moved to November, which would coincide with the start of skiing, sliding and skating seasons.

It seems inevitable that a winter World Cup would affect winter sports seasons, which can run from October into April depending on the sport.

The IOC has reportedly “warned” FIFA about switching 2022 World Cup dates to keep it from clashing with the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Six cities bidding for 2022 Winter Olympics

Nathan Chen holds off Yuzuru Hanyu to win first Grand Prix

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U.S. champion Nathan Chen opened the Grand Prix season by beating Olympic gold-medal favorite Yuzuru Hanyu.

Chen, 18, held off Hanyu at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, totaling 293.79 points to win by 3.02 over the Japanese megastar. Full scores are here.

Chen landed four quadruple jumps in a strong but imperfect free skate for his first Grand Prix title in his second senior international season.

Hanyu outscored Chen in the free skate, but the American benefited from his 5.69-point lead from Friday’s short program.

Hanyu, the reigning Olympic and world champion, has never won his opening Grand Prix start in eight tries.

He did three quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate rather than the planned five, but did not fall as he did in the short program.

Chen has now outscored Hanyu in three of their last four head-to-head events dating to February.

The Rostelecom Cup free dance and pairs and women’s free skates are later Saturday.

A full Rostelecom Cup broadcast schedule is here.

The Grand Prix season continues next weekend with Skate Canada, headlined by three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner and three-time world champion Patrick Chan.

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Olympic ski cross champion suffers serious knee injury

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Canadian Marielle Thompson, the reigning Olympic and World Cup ski cross champion, ruptured an ACL and MCL in a training crash in Switzerland.

Alpine Canada did not say when the accident happened or what Thompson’s chances are of returning to defend her Olympic title in PyeongChang.

Thompson flew from Switzerland to Vancouver for an MRI that confirmed the injury.

“I’ll be making a plan with my team moving forward and when the time is right getting back on the ski cross course stronger than ever,” Thompson said in a press release.

Thompson, 25, tore a meniscus in January 2015 and returned to competition 11 months later. She won seven of the 13 World Cup races last season.

Other Olympic medal contenders include Swede Sandra Näslund and Swiss Fanny Smith.

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