FIFA President Sepp Blatter ‘Expects’ 2022 Qatar World Cup to Move to Winter

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Decision expected in early October.

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter expects the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be switched from summer in order to avoid the searing heat according to the Daily Mail.

Blatter has acknowledged that his executive committee are almost certain to confirm the move to either winter or spring when it meets in Zurich on October 3.

“I would be very much surprised, more than surprised, if the ExCo will not accept the principle you cannot play in summer in Qatar,” Blatter said. “What will be following, this would be then decided later.”

Blatter said any consultations over a possible change would involve all leagues, clubs, national associations and players, through their international union FIFPro but he set no strict timetable.

Temperatures are due to rise above 40 degrees when the tournament to is expected to take place in June and July but the World Cup organising committee had said that air-conditioning in the stadium would actually reduce the heat to a manageable 27 degrees.

But FIFA and Blatter have adjusted their thinking in recent months and now the same board members who chose Qatar over the United States are ready to switch the tournament hosting schedule.

“Those that have taken the decision at the time, they knew there is problems with the heat. They knew it, because it was in the (technical) report,” Blatter said. “It was wrong to say, ‘Now we have to play in summer,’ because in summer you cannot play there.”

“Therefore the ExCo now shall take the decision and they will take it that in summer you can’t play in Qatar.”

Blatter has previously indicated that November would be a possible option while May has also been considered. A January-February starting slot appears very unlikely because of a clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics.

“What will be the ongoing situation with such a decision, we have to look on the international calendar,” Blatter added. “We have to look if and how it is possible, when we don’t play in summer, when is the best time to play?”