Article

Time running out on winter World Cup plans

8 November 2012 21:38

FIFA is running out of time to change the 2022 World Cup from a summer tournament to a winter one, according to head Hassan Al Thawadi.

With temperatures in the Gulf state reaching up to 50 degrees celsius in July, many criticised FIFA's decision to award the World Cup to Qatar in the first place, but head of the organising committee Al Thawadi says the plan was always to have a summer tournament.

Speaking in London, Al Thawadi urged FIFA to make a decision within the next two years on dates.

"But, off the top of my head I think probably 2013, 2014 would be the most realistic deadline for it," Al Thawadi said.

"Because, as everybody I'm sure appreciates international sporting calendars in general are quite a complex issue to resolve, so it makes sense by then."

Qatar's legacy promises to ensure the stadiums will be air conditioned should the tournament go ahead in the summer but that has not stopped the likes of UEFA President Michel Platini slamming FIFA's decision to award the event to Qatar.

"Our bid was always based on a summer World Cup," Al Thawadi said.

"Our legacy promises in terms of the coolant technology was always based on a summer World Cup, and accordingly we are proceeding ahead with a summer World Cup."

A winter World Cup would require a drastic revision of domestic football calendars around the world in 2022.

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