Holding the controversy-plagued 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar at the end of that year rather than the scorching summer is FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s preferred option, he told French radio station France Info.
The 78-year-old Swiss, who will stand again for the presidency next year despite having to weather many storms over his 16-year rule including accusations of corruption over the Qatar bid for the 2022 finals, admitted it would involve altering the domestic league programs.
“We cannot play the World Cup in summer,” said Blatter. ‘The date which is the most convenient is the end of the year.”
Blatter, who has since January 2011 conceded the finals in Qatar would have to be switched from the traditional June/July dates because of the searing temperatures in Qatar at that time of year, agreed the change would not please clubs.
“However, the World Cup is too important,” he said.
The FIFA president explained that “we can refresh the stadiums and make the temperature low, but we can’t put the whole country under the roof. We’ve to look for a solution.”
Switching the finals to the beginning of the year would present an extra problem as it could well clash with the Winter Olympics.
Qatar and FIFA are coming under increasing pressure to take the 2022 showpiece away from a country that has little sporting infrastructure or soccer culture, while there have been accusations of bribery in the bidding process.
Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who is considering challenging Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency, said the event could still be staged in the summer.
But the ex-Chilean football chief said some games would have to start as late as 1am to avoid the worst of the heat. “You could play the first games at 7pm, the second games at 10pm and the third matches at 1am,” he told BBC Sport.
It is expected that the Qatar World Cup will be moved to winter in 2022 to avoid searing temperatures, with a November/December tournament currently being looked at by world soccer’s governing body.
Europe’s top leagues are firmly against any suggestion that the World Cup be moved to the winter to avoid the sweltering summer months in Qatar, while there have been allegations of horrific working conditions for migrant workers building stadiums and infrastructure.
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Lets be honest, I know unheard of for FIFA.Oct 22nd, 2014 - 11:49 am 0
But the bid was won under false pretense.
It has taking forever for Qatar and FIFA to finally admit that a games during the Northern Hemisphere summer is quite impossible.
At no point in the bidding process was it made clear that the Qatar bid was for a winter event.
Clearly the bidding process should be re-opened with now the full details of the Qatar bid have been made public.
The man is corrupt, and the game is not far behind,Oct 22nd, 2014 - 12:15 pm 0
we reap what we ignore. corruption ......
Qatar has already spent a lot of money on infrastructure. It would lead to a shitstorm if the cup was taken away. Is 2022 far enough away for people - clubs, sponsors, broadcasters, fans to rearrange their plans - YES.Oct 22nd, 2014 - 01:26 pm 0
Without us being slightly flexible we are effectively saying that a Middle East country cannot host the WC, which I think is wrong.
I object to the WC being taken away from Qatar on the grounds of the weather, if we can get around the problems by being flexible.
I don't object to taking the WC away from Qatar on other grounds, if it was proven corruption in the bid, if they were using slave labour or abusive labour practices to build the stadiums, if the safety of WC workers were being ignored, if the safety of fans would be in danger e.g. if there was a danger to fans on the basis of their sex, race, religious beleifs, sexual orientation. Are we sure gay fans will be safe from persecution if they attend the Cup? That is where we should be closely examining Qatar as hosts.