Sepp Blatter

One FIFA alternative 2022 World Cup window could creep into Feb.

1 Comment

The Qatar World Cup could start in January or November in 2022, FIFA said in proposing two alternative dates to the usual June-July window Monday. A mid-summer World Cup in Qatar could present heat issues.

If the World Cup starts in January 2022, it could conflict with the 2022 Winter Olympics, if the Olympics take place in the usual February window.

In its press release, FIFA specifically said “January/February” and “November/December” were two alternatives. The World Cup lasts 32 days, so it will take up parts of two different months.

This goes against the likely windows FIFA presented earlier. In January, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said the 2022 World Cup would definitely not be played in June or July, according to Reuters, citing France Inter Radio.

“I think it will be played between November 15 and January 15 the latest,” Valcke said in January, according to Reuters.

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.

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be in Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing or Oslo, with a vote to take place next year.

FIFA said a task force will meet again in November and then February before the final 2022 World Cup dates are finalized.

Cautious Lindsey Vonn hopes to chase wins record this season

Boglarka Kapas, world champion swimmer, tests positive for coronavirus

Boglarka Kapas
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Boglarka Kapas, the Hungarian swimmer and world 200m butterfly champion, said she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t have any symptoms yet, and that’s why it’s important for you to know that even if you feel healthy you can spread the virus,” was posted on her social media. “Please be careful, stay at home and stay healthy.”

Nine total members of the Hungarian national team — including swimmers and staff — have tested positive, according to the federation.

Kapas said her first test was negative but a second test showed she had the virus. She was staying in quarantine at home for two weeks.

Kapas, 26, won the 200m fly at last summer’s world championships by passing Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot in the last 25 meters. She clocked 2:06.78 to prevail by .17 of a second.

Kapas also took bronze in the Rio Olympic 800m freestyle won by Katie Ledecky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NHL players: Marie-Philip Poulin is world’s best female hockey player

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The U.S. may have the world’s best women’s hockey team, but NHL players believe Canadian Marie-Philip Poulin is the world’s best player.

Poulin received the most votes out of 496 responses in the 2019-20 NHLPA Player Poll, conducted before the season was suspended. The tally:

Poulin: 39.92%
Hilary Knight (USA): 36.29%
Kendall Coyne Schofield (USA): 15.52%
Emily Pfalzer Matheson (USA): 1.41%
Other: 6.85%

Last year, Knight received the highest percentage of votes from 203 NHL players (27.59), edging Poulin (24.14) with Amanda Kessel third (12.81) and Coyne Schofield and Pfalzer Matheson each receiving 5.91 percent.

Why were Poulin and Knight swapped this year? Perhaps Poulin’s Canadian team winning the debut of the NHL All-Star Skills Competition women’s 3-on-3 game on Jan. 24, even though Knight scored and Poulin did not.

Poulin, now 29, scored both goals in the 2010 Olympic final and the game-tying and -winning goals in the 2014 Olympic final. Even before her Olympic debut at age 18, the daughter of Quebec hospital workers was dubbed “the female Sidney Crosby.”

Knight, 30, led last April’s world championship tournament with seven goals as the U.S. won a fifth straight title. Poulin played 4 minutes, 44 seconds, total at the tournament, missing time with a knee injury.

This spring’s tournament, which was to start Tuesday, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Winter Olympic sports season produced pain, stories to track for 2022