Skip to main content

World Cup 2022: UEFA backs plan for switch to Qatar winter

updated 12:06 PM EDT, Fri September 20, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • UEFA backs plan to move 2022 Qatar World Cup to winter
  • FIFA will hold vote next month in Zurich to decide on outcome
  • UEFA president Michel Platini has suggested a January or February time frame
  • Australia wants compensation for switch from winter to summer

(CNN) -- The prospect of a winter World Cup in 2022 looks set to become a reality after Europe's football associations voted against holding the tournament in the Qatari summer.

All 54 member associations of UEFA, Europe's governing body, backed the decision at the meeting in Croatia Thursday.

"They all agreed that this competition could not take place in the heat of Qatar in the summer," FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce told CNN.

"At the end of the day common sense has to prevail here and I'm glad at long last common sense has prevailed," he added.

FIFA, the game's world governing body, has been considering the option of moving the tournament because of fears that players and fans would be adversely affected by the searing heat, which can reach 122 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.

FIFA VP supports 2022 winter switch
Qatar 2022: Too hot for football?
'Slavery' accusations hit Qatar football

Read: The Qatar conundrum

FIFA President Sepp Blatter recently stated that it would not be feasible to hold a summer World Cup in Qatar and will make a decision on the timing of the tournament at the Executive Committee meeting in Zurich, Switzerland on October 3 and 4.

A winter World Cup would cause chaos with the European domestic season with clubs fearing they could lose out financially.

"What has to happen now is that the people who are involved, including the people from Qatar, they have to sit down and work out a situation that's going to cause (as) minimum (a) disruption that can possibly be made to football," said Boyce. "Not only in Europe but throughout the world.

"There are nine years to plan the World Cup and surely with common sense this can be overcome."

UEFA President Michel Platini, who voted for Qatar, believes a move to January or February would suit his members.

"I was very happy to learn that FIFA president Joseph Blatter wants to move the 2022 World Cup to the winter, something I've long advocated," the Frenchman told the media last month.

Platini also rejected claims by the chief executive of the English Premier League, Richard Scudamore, who claimed switching the World Cup was "well nigh impossible," citing disruption to the calendar and the impact on lucrative television deals.

He added: "For 150 years, England has imposed its calendar and we've respected it.

"So for once, for one month, England could respect another calendar."

The announcement by FIFA in 2010 that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup finals has brought greater exposure for the tiny emirate. The announcement by FIFA in 2010 that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup finals has brought greater exposure for the tiny emirate.
Race for the prize
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
>
>>
The coffin of Ecuador international Christian Benitez arrives at Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito. The coffin of Ecuador international Christian Benitez arrives at Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito.
Hero returns
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
Benitez returns home to Ecuador Benitez returns home to Ecuador
Eto'o: Money doesn't motivate me

FIFA's decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has led to huge criticism with Australian football chiefs threatening legal action.

Read: FIFA puts heat on Qatar

Australia, which lost out to Qatar along with South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, believes it should be compensated if the World Cup is held in the winter rather than the summer.

Earlier this week, the Football Federation of Australia laid out its case which it expects FIFA's Executive Committee to examine.

"An in-principle decision that just and fair compensation should be paid to those nations that invested many millions, and national prestige, in bidding for a summer event," it said.

"If there is consensus within the Ex-Co that a change in date should be considered, then a transparent process should be established to examine the scheduling implications for all leagues and a method developed for agreeing appropriate compensation for those affected."

That case is unlikely to succeed according to a FIFA spokesperson, despite the pressure from the Australian FA.

A FIFA spokesperson told CNN: "As part of the bidding documents all bidders, including the FA Australia, accepted that the final decision regarding the format and dates of the staging of the FIFA World Cup and FIFA though initially expected to be in June/July, remains subject to the final decision of the FIFA Organizing Committee.

"There is no ground for any speculations."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT