The cross-country, discipline born in Europe but at present dominated by the countries of Africa, started to celebrate their continental championship in Europe 16 years ago.
The world championships, celebrate in March, has become a monologue of African athletes like Ethiopians, Kenyans or Eritreans. When placed the continental event in calendar, early 90s, the countries of northern and eastern Europe, where the climate makes dificult to prepare outdoor events, pressed for the chosen date was in December. It divided into two the cross country season, the European Championship in December and the World Championship in March. From my point of view many of the best distance runners in Europe prepare the European season with the objetive in the month of December, leaving aside the world championship.
This has led to the IAAF has taken the decision to hold the world cross-country each other year, not every year as before, from 2011 celebrating the World Champ in odd years which will make it virtually impossible to emulate challenges from Tergat or Bekele. But it also opens a new debate, the years that there will be not world cross-country championships, would be disputed in the European Asociation to respect the December date for the European cross-country champs.
Probably the countries from European Athletics Association that once voted for the December date will continue to do it, for now the global climate has not changed much, but countries like Spain, France or Portugal may be supporters of an alternative date in that years.
Of course there will be debate and Spain is emerging as contender for the organization of a European cross-country for the future … in December or March?