FIFA President Sepp Blatter has indicated the Qatar 2022 World Cup will be held in the winter.
The 2022 World Cup may be nine years away but it has raised much controversy since it was announced that Qatar will be the host nation.
Soaring temperatures during the summer have been the main argument for a move to the winter months, where temperatures will be much cooler. The implications of this on domestic league schedules, particularly in Europe, have caused several of the continents biggest leagues to voice their opposition, with Premier League officials amongst the most vocal of protesters.
The Executive Committee (ExCo) of FIFA will hold a meeting on October 3-4 in Zurich to discuss the issue, but Blatter seems confident they will decide on a winter tournament.
Speaking on Sunday, Blatter said: “I would be very much surprised, more than surprised, if the ExCo will not accept the principle you cannot play in summer in Qatar. Those that have taken the [2022 host city] decision at the time, they knew there is problems with the heat. They knew it, because it was in the [technical] report. 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. What will be the ongoing situation with such a decision, we have to look on the international calendar. We have to look if and how it is possible, when we don’t play in summer, when is the best time to play in winter?”