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Head of Europe's governing body backs plans

Michel Platini has backed the idea of Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup in winter rather than summer to avoid extreme temperatures.

Speaking after a Uefa executive committee meeting in Prague, the president of European football's governing body suggested it would be much easier to organise the tournament in January rather than June.

"It's true that if we talk about the World Cup in the Gulf in January, that would be easier than to play in June," he said.

"On that I agree, and why not? It's possible."

Qatar were suprisingly named as hosts for the 2022 World Cup, despite the country's high temperatures.

Platini dismissed criticism of the decision by explaining that the 1994 tournament was played under similar circumstances in the United States, without any questions being asked.

"The temperature in Dallas was [113 degrees], if I'm not mistaken, in 1994 and nobody criticized the U.S. at the time," he said.

Should the 2022 World Cup be moved to January it would disrupt the majority of domestic club competitions within Europe, though Uefa would try to resolve the issue over the coming years.

"How much rest time will we give to the players after the World Cup?" asked Platini.

"If we play in January, well, will it be a February off and then we start again in March?"

"We will discuss this heavily in the months and years to come," he added.

Qatar has proposed the installation of air conditioning within stadiums to cope with the hot conditions, but Asian Football Confederation general secretary Peter Velappan said that cooling down stadiums and training grounds with such systems was "not a solution."

Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup after beating rival bids from Australia, the United States, Japan and South Korea.

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