These mockups show some of the stadia Qatar hopes will be part of the World Cup in 2022. (Getty Images)

Pressure on Qatar From All Sides

According to The Daily Mail, more pressure could be building on Qatar in multiple ways over their controversial selection to host the 2022 World Cup.

The European leagues have already voiced their opposition to a winter World Cup. Though it would avoid Qatar’s blistering summer heat, it would interrupt league play worldwide with effects that some think would be felt for multiple seasons.

In addition, Fox Sports, the tournament’s American TV partner, is said to strongly oppose a winter World Cup. A Fox spokesman quoted in the piece said, “Fox Sports bought the World Cup rights with the understanding they would be in the summer as they have been since the 1930s.”

Fox already has lucrative contracts to carry professional and college American football on weekends in the fall and winter.

The piece also mentions that other nations who bid on the World Cup, such as Australia, the United States, Japan, and Korea, would be happy to stage the event during its traditional summer timeframe should Qatar be proven an unsuitable host.

Champions League Play to Begin

Bayern Munich will hit the pitch to begin its quest to defend its UEFA Champions League title this week, something no club has done since AC Milan in 1990.

Bayern takes on CSKA Moscow as the teams open group play, which will last through December 11.

21 members of last year’s field return, including seven of the eight quarterfinalists. Austria Vienna is the only member of the 32-team field making its Champions League debut.

Atlanta hopes to join Montreal among cities to have been awarded MLS clubs. (Getty Images)

MLS Expansion May Head Southeast

An SI.com report says Atlanta has become a favorite to host an MLS expansion team.

Sources tell the website that Arthur Blank, an Atlanta businessman who owns the city’s National Football League team, has held extensive discussions with the league about acquiring an expansion team to play its home games in a new downtown stadium.

Atlanta should, in theory, be an attractive market for MLS. The city is the largest American market without an MLS club and will soon begin construction on a brand new stadium set to open downtown in 2017. The facility would be shared with Blank’s Atlanta Falcons.

Though the markets involved remain unknown, MLS commissioner Don Garber previously announced plans to expand the league to 24 teams by 2020. The league currently has 19 teams with New York City FC set to become the 20th in two years.

Other possible expansion markets include Orlando and Miami.

By INSIDER’s Nick Devlin

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