UK & World News
Qatar World Cup 'Will Not Be Held In Summer'
The 2022 World Cup will not be played in Qatar during June and July, Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke has said.
Speaking to French radio, Valcke ruled out holding the controversial tournament in the heat of the Gulf state's summer, when temperatures can reach 50C, saying a date between November and January 2023 would be more appropriate.
"The dates for the World Cup will not be June to July," Valcke, the second most powerful man in international football's governing body, told Radio France.
"To be honest, I think it will be held between November 15 and January 15 at the latest.
"If you play between November 15 and the end of December that's the time when the weather conditions are best, when you can play in temperatures equivalent to a warm spring season in Europe, averaging 25 degrees.
"That would be perfect for playing football."
Valcke's comments appear to pre-judge a consultation he is leading on the instruction of the Fifa executive committee.
Last October, Fifa President Sepp Blatter said he would consult all those affected by a dramatic change to football's traditional calendar before making a definitive decision.
Valcke has been speaking to football authorities around the world including the Premier League in order to find a solution to a problem of Fifa's own making.
The Premier League would prefer the tournament not to be moved but will find a November tournament easier to accommodate than one played in January, when the domestic calendar is busier.
Fifa's top inspector, Harold Mayne-Nicholls, said in October that a summer tournament in Qatar would be "impossible" - even with the cooling technology proposed by organisers.
FA chairman Greg Dyke also told Sky News that the temperatures "would be impossible for the fans".
Fifa shocked many in the football world when it awarded the World Cup to the Arab state following a vote in December 2010, where it beat the likes of the US and South Korea.
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