Skip to main content

FIFA puts heat on Qatar

July 18, 2013 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
FIFA will discuss whether to switch the 2022 World Cup from summer to winter in October.
FIFA will discuss whether to switch the 2022 World Cup from summer to winter in October.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA to discuss switching 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter
  • Summer temperatures to high for football according to FIFA President Sepp Blatter
  • Decision to be taken at meeting in beginning of October
  • Qatar organizing committee open to moving tournament

(CNN) -- The heat is on.

Qatar will discover its World Cup fate in October after FIFA revealed it will make a decision over whether to move the tournament from summer to winter. Traditionally the event has been staged in June and the early part of July.

FIFA, football's world governing body, is set to discuss the proposal at an executive committee meeting scheduled for the beginning of October.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter revealed fears Tuesday that the heat of the Qatari summer which reaches temperatures from 104 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, would have detrimental health effects on players and quality of football at the tournament.

A spokesman for FIFA told CNN: "As mentioned by the FIFA President yesterday, he will bring forward the matter of playing the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar in winter to the FIFA Executive Committee on the occasion of their next meeting scheduled for October 2013.

'Slavery' accusations hit Qatar football
Tour Brazilian football's spiritual home
Football continues as Brazilians protest

"Please understand that this matter will now be with the Executive Committee and that we can therefore not comment further before the meeting has taken place."

Read: Qatar face scrutiny over 'slavery' accusations

The announcement comes 24 hours after Blatter told a news conference in Kitzbuehel, Austria, that the players would not be able to play in such hot and humid conditions whereas Qatar's average winter temperature of 68 degrees Farenheit would be much more feasible.

"The World Cup must be a festival of the people. But for it to be such a festival, you can't play football in the summer," Blatter told reporters.

"You can cool down the stadiums but you can't cool down the whole country and you can't simply cool down the ambiance of a World Cup.

"The players must be able to play in the best conditions to play a good World Cup."

Hassan Al-Thawadi, head of the Qatar 2022 organizing committee, has not ruled out the prospect of holding the tournament in the winter -- despite expected opposition from Europe's top clubs.

A winter competition would wreak havoc with domestic fixture lists and could create tensions with television companies.

But Al-Thawadi says Qatar is open to all suggestions from FIFA.

"If it's a wish of the football community to have the World Cup in winter, then we are open to that," he told reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT