Summer World Cup in Qatar impossible: UEFA
Dubrovnik, Croatia, September 19, 2013
European football federations have agreed it would be "impossible" to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in summer as planned and that a task force will be set up to find an alternative.
"Obviously there are certain reservations regarding the World Cup in Qatar but everyone agrees that it would be impossible to play in the severe heat of Qatar in the summer," Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce told Sky television.
The statement came even as Fifa president Sepp Blatter said in an interview that the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar could have been influenced by political and economic considerations.
"It is very important that we get this right," Boyce added, speaking in a phone interview after a meeting of UEFA, the organisation of 54 European football federations in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
"They all agree that to play the World Cup, to take thousands of fans to the biggest sporting event in the middle of summer would be impossible."
Fifa is expected to agree in principle to the switch at its next executive committee meeting in October.
Meanwhile, Blatter told German weekly Die Zeit: “Yes, there was definitely direct political influence. European leaders recommended to its voting members to opt for Qatar, because of major economic interests in the country.”
He said this when asked if Qatar had been chosen by world football's governing body Fifa based on considerations other than sport.
Blatter also said Fifa had set up a new, independent ethics commission to re-examine the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar.