Paris - The 2022 Soccer World Cup in Qatar will not be held in June and July but
would best be held in the winter time, FIFA general secretary Jerome
Valcke said on Wednesday.
The scheduling of the tournament has
been hotly debated ever since FIFA controversially awarded it to Qatar
in December 2010, especially over fears that the summer heat in the Gulf
emirate would be dangerous for players and fans alike.
for the World Cup (in Qatar) will not be June-July," Valcke, the second
most powerful man in international footbal's governing body, told Radio
"To be honest, I think it will be held between November 15 and January 15 at the latest.
you play between November 15 and the end of December that's the time
when the weather conditions are best, when you can play in temperatures
equivalent to a warm spring season in Europe, averaging 25 degrees.
"That would be perfect for playing football."
did not say whether he favoured a World Cup in the winter of 2021-22 or
2022-23, but the deciding factor could be the timing of the Winter
Olympics in early 2022.
The awarding of the 2022 World Cup to
Qatar has been beset by criticism, especially over the searing heat that
bakes the Gulf emirate in the summer when the tournament is
Calls had grown increasingly strident to switch it to the winter time to accommodate players and supporters.
this ran into opposition from European clubs, who would lose their top
players for several weeks in the middle of the season and from the
International Olympic Committee fearful of any competition with the 2022
World Cup organising committee officials in
Qatar have insisted they were prepared for all eventualities concerning
the 2022 showpiece.
"From the beginning, we've always said we can
stage the World Cup in summer," said Hassan Al-Thawadi, Secretary
General of the Qatar 2022 Organising Committee last month.
cooling system for the stadia will be very much part of our legacy. But
if the football world or FIFA want it to be staged in the winter then we
are happy and ready. If they want it in summer, then we are still
In October FIFA said they would listen to the views of all
concerned parties - players, clubs, leagues, federations and sponsors
-- with a view to taking a final decision on dates in December of this
It remains to be seen what the reaction to a possible winter
World Cup will be from top European clubs such as Barcelona, Real
Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich who risk having to do
without their top players at a key period for domestic leagues and the