FIFA president Sepp Blatter expects the Executive Committee of football’s global governing body to approve shifting the 2022 World Cup from its traditional summer slot.
Speculation has mounted in recent months that the 2022 tournament in Qatar will be moved to the winter months, in order to avoid the stifling summer temperatures. Blatter told the Associated Press on Sunday that such a move is likely to be endorsed at an ExCo meeting on October 3-4 in Zurich, Switzerland.
“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 the resulting consultations following the decision would involve leagues, clubs, national associations and players.
Referring back to the decision to award the tournament’s hosting rights to Qatar, Blatter added: “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. 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 continued: “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?”