QATAR 2022: FIFA president Blatter said the 2022 World Cup should be switched to the winter months …

Kitzbuehel, Austria: FIFA President Sepp Blatter said yesterday the 2022 World Cup should be switched to the winter months because of the blistering heat in Qatar during the summer.

Blatter admitted he had to take his share of the blame for not taking the heat problem sufficiently into consideration when awarding the tournament to Qatar in 2010.

“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 a conference in Kitzbuehel, Austria.

“You can cool down the stadiums but you can’t cool down the whole country and you can’t simply cool down the ambience of a World Cup. The players must be able to play in the best conditions to play a good World Cup.”

Blatter had previously said that any request to change the timing of the 2022 World Cup would have to come from the organisers. In March, he said the World Cup was a competition “that has to be played in June and July”.

“We must protect our partners, our sponsors, our television partners. We must be very strong about this. We still have enough time. I will open discussions in the executive committee in October,” Blatter told reporters.

“The executive committee will most certainly follow my proposal. And then we will have dealt with the topic for good.”

The head of Qatar’s organising committee, Hassan Al Thawadi, told the conference in Austria by video link: “If it’s a wish of the football community to have the World Cup in winter, then we are open to that.” Games are scheduled to be played in air-conditioned stadiums.  REUTERS

Reported by: Caye Global News, Peninsula 

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