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FIFA puts heat on Qatar

updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu July 18, 2013
FIFA will discuss whether to switch the 2022 World Cup from summer to winter in October.
FIFA will discuss whether to switch the 2022 World Cup from summer to winter in October.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA to discuss switching 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter
  • Summer temperatures to high for football according to FIFA President Sepp Blatter
  • Decision to be taken at meeting in beginning of October
  • Qatar organizing committee open to moving tournament

(CNN) -- The heat is on.

Qatar will discover its World Cup fate in October after FIFA revealed it will make a decision over whether to move the tournament from summer to winter. Traditionally the event has been staged in June and the early part of July.

FIFA, football's world governing body, is set to discuss the proposal at an executive committee meeting scheduled for the beginning of October.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter revealed fears Tuesday that the heat of the Qatari summer which reaches temperatures from 104 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, would have detrimental health effects on players and quality of football at the tournament.

A spokesman for FIFA told CNN: "As mentioned by the FIFA President yesterday, he will bring forward the matter of playing the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar in winter to the FIFA Executive Committee on the occasion of their next meeting scheduled for October 2013.

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"Please understand that this matter will now be with the Executive Committee and that we can therefore not comment further before the meeting has taken place."

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The announcement comes 24 hours after Blatter told a news conference in Kitzbuehel, Austria, that the players would not be able to play in such hot and humid conditions whereas Qatar's average winter temperature of 68 degrees Farenheit would be much more feasible.

"The World Cup must be a festival of the people. But for it to be such a festival, you can't play football in the summer," Blatter told reporters.

"You can cool down the stadiums but you can't cool down the whole country and you can't simply cool down the ambiance of a World Cup.

"The players must be able to play in the best conditions to play a good World Cup."

Hassan Al-Thawadi, head of the Qatar 2022 organizing committee, has not ruled out the prospect of holding the tournament in the winter -- despite expected opposition from Europe's top clubs.

A winter competition would wreak havoc with domestic fixture lists and could create tensions with television companies.

But Al-Thawadi says Qatar is open to all suggestions from FIFA.

"If it's a wish of the football community to have the World Cup in winter, then we are open to that," he told reporters.

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