Rauball: No changes to calendar without debate

BERLIN - Moves by FIFA and UEFA to reshape the football calendar from 2015 could not be taken without fully consulting Europe's five biggest leagues, president of the German Football League Reinhard Rauball said on Wednesday.

Although neither FIFA nor UEFA have officially said they want to change the international calendar and made no comment on Wednesday on the issue, there has been speculation for months that plans are gathering pace to do so.

The speculation has increased in recent weeks following comments made by both FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini, with the backdrop of a possible winter World Cup in Qatar in 2022 having a big influence on the possible change.

Rauball told reporters on Wednesday: "I cannot imagine that such a decision has already been taken without consulting the big leagues.

"Apart from that we stick to our position: there is no ban on thinking but also no quick decisions," Rauball said.

"This is a very complex issue. We put a lot of value on the issue of the five big European leagues being heard," he added.

German magazine Sport Bild reported on Wednesday that one plan is to play the season from March to October from 2015.

World Cups and European championships would be played in February and March, according to the report.

Last week Platini told reporters at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland that the calendar could change in the future.

"It is necessary to think what could be the future," he said.

"I don't say 'play winter, don't play winter,' but to think about what the calendar could be in the future."

Blatter said earlier this month he "expected" the 2022 World Cup finals to be moved to the winter and if that were the case, the move would impact on the calendar for a number of years before the finals were staged.