Fifa will shift Qatar World Cup says Blatter
London, August 26, 2013
Fifa executive committee will decide in October on the issue of swtiching the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from the searing heat of summer, Fifa president Sepp Blatter was quoted as saying.
Blatter told The Associated Press on Sunday that an October 3-4 meeting in Zurich should approve the change, and begin consultation on the best time for Qatar to host the tournament.
'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 in an interview.
'What will be following, this would be then decided later.'
Blatter said consultations would involve leagues, clubs, national associations and players, through their international union FIFPro but he set no timetable.
Qatar's World Cup organising committee has repeatedly stated its confidence in developing stadium air-cooling technology, though the committee also said it will change plans if Fifa formally requested it.
Some of the same Fifa board members who helped choose Qatar — in a decisive 14-8 vote over the US — are set to switch the tournament hosting plan, reports said.
"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," Blatter said. "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 has previously suggested November as a possible start for the monthlong tournament while recent speculation has focused on May. A January-February slot is unlikely because of a clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics.