UK & World News
Qatar: Blatter Paves Way For Winter World Cup
Fifa has formally begun the process of moving the 2022 World Cup away from summer after its executive committee agreed to establish a commission to consider the implications.
The commission will consult with leagues, broadcasters, sponsors and other sports federations to establish the financial and practical price of a calendar change.
Fifa will delay any decision on the timing of the 2022 World Cup until after next summer's tournament in Brazil, and exact timings may not be announced until 2015.
The consultation comes amid concerns that the welfare of players and fans would be compromised by playing the tournament in the extreme heat of a desert summer, when temperatures can reach 50C.
Fifa President Sepp Blatter has said he believes the tournament should be moved, echoing similar statements from his Uefa counterpart Michel Platini, and Michel D'Hooge, chairman of Fifa's medical committee.
"The executive committee decided to launch a consultation process among main stakeholders for Qatar 2022 dates," Blatter tweeted. "No decision will be taken before 2014 WC."
Blatter wanted a clear decision to move the tournament to winter taken this week, but faced opposition from members who want the consultation to come first.
Platini was among them, despite having been the first to call for a move to winter and securing the backing of all 53 Uefa member nations last month.
The commission will examine several options, with a January or November start date the most likely.
A November tournament would impact on European club football including the Champions League, while a January start would clash with the Winter Olympics.
Blatter also said Fifa could not get involved in labour issues in any country following claims about abuses against workers involved in World Cup construction projects in Qatar.
Dozens of Nepalese workers have died and thousands of others work in conditions akin to "modern day slavery" in the Gulf state, The Guardian reported.
"Fifa cannot interfere with the labour rights of any country, but we cannot ignore them," Blatter tweeted.