Fifa proposes new dates to avoid heat of Qatar World Cup

2014-09-09 09:16

Berlin – Fifa is proposing January and February, and November and December in 2022 as possible dates for the Qatar World Cup.

Fifa said yesterday that the dates were offered at the first meeting in Zurich of a special task force dealing with the international match calendar for 2018 to 2024.

Fifa said that the tournament must be played in 2022. Qatar’s original plan to stage the event at the traditional June and July slot is widely opposed because of the intense summer heat at the time.

As a result, Fifa has invited all stakeholders to help search for alternative dates.

However, with the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics to open on February 9 – and Fifa boss Joseph Blatter reportedly having assured Olympic supremo Thomas Bach that the events won’t clash – a November and December slot could be likelier for the World Cup.

A winter World Cup will disrupt the season in key European leagues and continental events such as the Champions League in mid-season for around two months – and also lead to a changed calendar the season before and after the World Cup.

Yesterday’s meeting was attended by representatives from Fifa, clubs, leagues, players’ unions and Qatar organising committee chief Hassan al-Thawadi.

Fifa said the “participants were presented with information on the implications of staging the event in winter as opposed to summer, as proposed by the Fifa executive committee.”

More talks are set for later in the year and early 2015 before the executive committee is to reach a decision in March 2015.

“As the committee has emphasised, the consultation process should not be rushed but instead be given the necessary time to consider all of the elements relevant for a decision,” meeting chairperson Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, a Fifa executive committee member and Asian football supremo, said.

“We have made progress at today’s meeting and will continue to work together to find the best solution for football.”

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