Fifa: Qatar World Cup can only be held in the winter


The head of the FIFA task force looking into the 2022 World Cup scheduled to be played in Qatar has said that the only months it can take place are in November and December.

The preferred choice of Europe’s top leagues is to hold the tournament in May, but Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa has ruled that month out.

When Qatar won their bid to host the World Cup it was supposed to take place in the summer, but health damaging heat is a major concern not only of the players but of fans attending the event.

“All parties have to compromise, not just the Europeans,” Sheikh Salman said.

Hassan Al Thawadi, head of the Qatar 2022 World Cup organising committee, told BBC Sport the hosts were “ready to comply” with the “football community’s decision”.

“Whatever decision gets taken, we are ready to host it at any point in time,” Al Thawadi said.

As part of their winning bid Qatar proposed to have air-conditioned stadiums along with training grounds and fan zones.

“Whenever the World Cup is hosted, we’re still moving ahead with the cooling technology for the legacy that it offers,” Al Thawadi said.

Even Michel Platini the president of Uefa is against a May tournament saying it has to be played in the winter because “it’s not possible to play in May when it’s 40 degrees”.

The other option other than November/December is January/February which is in reality a non-starter as it would clash with the Winter Olympics.

A final decision will be made by Fifa’s executive committee in March with Al Thawadi adding: “Hopefully we can settle this issue once and for all.”

Meanwhile a spokesman for the English Premier League said: “The 2022 World Cup was bid for and awarded to Qatar as a summer tournament. The prospect of a winter World Cup is neither workable nor desirable for European domestic football.”