Sydney: FIFA has reportedly dismissed the comments of the football governing body`s secretary general Jerome Valcke that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be held in the winter months that year, instead of the June-July tournament originally scheduled.
The scheduling of the tournament has been hotly debated ever since FIFA controversially awarded it to Qatar in December 2010, especially over fears that the summer heat in the Gulf emirate would be dangerous for players and fans alike.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Valcke, who is the second most powerful man in international football, said that he believes the tournament would be held between November 15 and January 15 at the latest as at that time the weather conditions are best and the players can play in temperatures equivalent to a warm spring season in Europe.
However, FIFA reacted swiftly to Valcke`s comments by saying they were his personal views and that no formal decision to move the date of the tournament would be taken before this year`s World Cup finals in Brazil starting in June to give the necessary time to consider all of the elements relevant for a decision.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has also voiced support for a winter World Cup with a preference for November-December over January-February, although this ran into opposition from European clubs and from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) fearful of any competition with the 2022 Winter Olympics, the report added.