Skip to main content

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

September 20, 2013 -- Updated 1606 GMT (0006 HKT)
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
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 1151 GMT (1951 HKT)
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1649 GMT (0049 HKT)
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1012 GMT (1812 HKT)
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
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.
ADVERTISEMENT