ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 02: FIFA President Joseph S Blatter names Qatar as the winning hosts of 2022 during the FIFA World Cup 2018 & 2022 Host Countries Announcement at the Messe Conference Centre on December 2, 2010 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
It's official! FIFA confirms winter World Cup in 2022
01:28 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

The 2022 World Cup final in Qatar will be held on December 18 – the Gulf state’s national day.

The decision was made by FIFA at an executive meeting in Zurich, Switzerland on Thursday.

FIFA, world football’s global governing body, decided to move the tournament to the Qatari winter following fears over the intense summer temperatures.

“The Executive Committee today confirmed that the 2022 World Cup will be staged in November/December with the final to be on December 18,” FIFA said in a statement.

“In principle, it was agreed that the tournament should be played over a reduced timeframe, for instance 28 days.

“The working group for the international match calendar will meet in due course to finalize the international match calendar for the 2019-2022 cycle.”

Since December 2010, when Qatar was given the right to become the first Middle East nation to host the tournament, controversy has raged over the country’s suitability to stage the world’s biggest sporting event.

Qatar’s winning bid was based on the premise it would be held in June and July, but FIFA was forced to backtrack over concerns for the safety of players and spectators.

There have also been accusations of corruption in a voting process that also gave Russia the right to host the 2018 World Cup.

FIFA has absolved both host countries of any wrongdoing, but has yet to make public the report made by the former head of its ethics committee’s investigatory panel, Michael Garcia, who last year resigned in protest.

Europe’s top clubs have unsuccessfully lobbied FIFA, claiming that the tournament should not be held midway through their season.

The ruling body said the World Cup could not take place in January or February as it would clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics.