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FIFA World Cup 2022 will not be held in the Summer says Valcke

By Tom Anstey    08 Jan 2014
Moving the World Cup would greatly disrupt the European football calendar

FIFA’s general secretary Jerome Valcke, has said that the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 will be moved from the traditional summer date (June-July) over fears that the temperature would have an adverse effect on both fans and players.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter had already expressed a desire to host the tournament in November or December but organisers had still hoped to host it during the Summer of 2022.

“The dates for the World Cup (in Qatar) will not be in June-July,” said Valcke speaking to Radio France. “If you play between 15 November and the end of December that’s the time when the weather conditions are best, when you can play at temperatures averaging 25 degrees.”

Jim Boyce, one of Fifa's vice-presidents, has expressed his shock at Valcke's announcement.

"It absolutely 100 per cent has not been decided as far as the executive committee are concerned," said Boyce speaking to Sky Sports News. "It was agreed all the stakeholders should meet, all the stakeholders should have an input and then the decision would be made, and that decision as far as I understand will not be taken until the end of 2014 or the March executive meeting in 2015."

Fifa followed Boyce's comments with a statement saying that Valcke was expressing his own view but that no decision had been taken on the timing.

One advantage to a November tournament is that FIFA already have international dates during that month, meaning less disruption to domestic calendar. Sepp Blatter has agreed with new IOC president Thomas Bach that 2022 World Cup will not impact with Winter Olympics in February, which rules out January for a start date.

The scheduling of the tournament has been hotly debated since the announcement was made in December 2010. Officials from European football leagues – especially England’s Premier League – said moving the World Cup dates would cause serious scheduling problems for the leagues for three successive seasons from 2020-21 to 2022-23. The scheduling would also cause disruption to the African Cup of Nations which is set to start January 2023.

The governing body of European football, UEFA, has approved the move. with its 54 member associations giving their backing to the switch in a meeting on 19 September 2013.

Australia, which competed with Qatar for the 2022 World Cup, has said they will seek compensation from Fifa if the 2022 World Cup is played in winter.

None of the 19 World Cups to date have ever been played outside of May, June or July.

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