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Sepp Blatter expects January switch for 2022 World Cup

Fifa president Sepp Blatter presents the World Cup trophy to Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani accepts the World Cup trophy

Fifa president Sepp Blatter expects the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be held in January because of the country's intensely hot summers.

The tournament is traditionally held in June and July but temperatures in Qatar at that time of year can top 40C.

Speaking in the Qatari capital Doha, Blatter said: "I expect it [the 2022 World Cup] will be held in winter.

"It is 11 years away but we must decide the most adequate period, which means January or the end of the year."

Blatter, who is in Doha for the start of the Asian Cup, added: "Although we have the basic conditions of their bid for a June and July World Cup, the Fifa executive committee is entitled to change anything that was in the bid.

Blatter backs winter World Cup in 2022

"When you play football you have to protect the main people - the players."

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke also supports the prospect of the 2022 World Cup being rescheduled.

Speaking in December, he said: "Why not? It means you open the World Cup to countries where they can never play it in June and July because it's never the right period of time.

"If you can do so, it would be a solution to open the organisation of the World Cup to a number of countries in this period which is winter in Europe but not winter in the rest of the world."

He added: "You can't just make a decision to move the tournament and that is it.

"It means you have to change completely when the leagues will play, mainly I would say in Europe. It's less difficult in the rest of the world."

Qatar beat Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to host the tournament in the vote by Fifa's executive committee on 2 December in Zurich.

Winter World Cup decision up to Fifa

Initially, former German World Cup-winning captain and coach Franz Beckenbauer had aired his worries about the health risk of the heat to players if the World Cup was staged during the Gulf nation's summer.

Uefa president Michel Platini also recently suggested the idea of moving the 2022 World Cup to December or January.

Meanwhile, Blatter also revealed in December that several nations in the Middle East were interested in hosting games during the 2022 World Cup and that he had met with officials in Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait during a tour of the region.

However, he did not elaborate on which of Qatar's neighbours wanted to host the games, or how many could be hosted, but he pointed out that such a decision would have to come first from Qatar and then from Fifa's 24-man executive committee.

"This demand has to come from the Qatar football organisation by saying we would like to have such and such things and this has to go back to Fifa and the Fifa executive committee has to say open it or don't open it," he said.

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"I can say all these countries are very happy. First of all, the World Cup is going to the Middle East and they are interested - I would say a little bit more than interested - to be part of this competition.

"It is a wish. It is easy to say but it is not so easy to realise. For the time being, it's too early."



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see also
Platini open to World Cup change
10 Dec 10 |  Football
Opoku revels in Qatar World Cup
03 Dec 10 |  African
Blatter brands England bad losers
08 Dec 10 |  Football
Fifa to keep Cup voting process
06 Dec 10 |  Football
Anson floats Fifa reform proposal
04 Dec 10 |  Football
Russia & Qatar to host World Cups
02 Dec 10 |  Football


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