Skip to main content

FIFA Asia chief: 2022 Winter World Cup would 'make sense'

October 11, 2012 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA vice president backs idea of winter World Cup in 2022
  • Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein represents Asia region
  • Temperatures in the Gulf state soar in June and July
  • The 36-year-old Jordanian encouraging women's participation in football

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

(CNN) -- Moving the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar to the winter would "definitely make sense," the FIFA vice president with responsibility for the region, has told CNN.

Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has been in his role, representing the whole of Asia, since January 2011, shortly after the award of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to Russia and Qatar.

The idea of moving the competition from its traditional slot in June and July when temperatures soar in the Gulf region, to December and January, when it is cooler, has been floated by a number of leading football officials, including UEFA president Michel Platini.

That would interrupt the European league season, but Al Hussein has taken a pragmatic view.

"It would definitely make sense," he said.

Brazil's World Cup countdown
Kickbacks and cover-ups at FIFA?
FIFA in crisis over bribery scandal

"I mean they have had the Asian Finals in the winter but again that goes back to them as organizers and we will be there to support them."

The 36-year-old is the youngest member of the executive committee of football's world governing body and is also president of the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF), which covers the Middle East. region.

He is ambitious for football in his region and believes that they can match the achievements of the leading European leagues in the future.

"I think of course, if we work as hard as we can, both as officials, as team managers, as players all across the spectrum then definitely I think in the future we can be the best," he believes.

He has also been keen to promote women's football, despite cultural difficulties in many countries under his jurisdiction.

The prince successfully lobbied to gain acceptance of women being able to play wearing the hijab, the Muslim head dress that covers the hair, ears and neck, a violation of a FIFA ban on all religious and political symbols.

"I think it is very important obviously to allow everyone to play our game and I am very happy that now we have given the opportunity for women all across the world to participate in the sport that they love.

"I am very proud that at the end of the day IFAB (International Football Association Board) has taken the right decision in that respect."

He was elected to the FIFA executive on a platform of greater transparency in the wake of corruption scandals which saw one of his predecessors in the vice president role, Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam, banned for life on bribery charges.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1229 GMT (2029 HKT)
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1656 GMT (0056 HKT)
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1007 GMT (1807 HKT)
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
ADVERTISEMENT