FIFA urged to finalise 2022 dates
By Football News
FIFA are running out of time to change the start date of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, according to tournament organisers.
Hassan Al Thawadi, chief executive of the 2022 Qatar organising committee, has championed the World Cup being held in July - the month in which the tournament traditionally takes place.
However, FIFA have already expressed concerns about the soaring temperatures in the Gulf state at that time of year, citing the need to stage games during a cooler period in the year.
"Our bid was always based on a summer World Cup," Al Thawadi said.
"Our legacy promises in terms of the coolant technology was always based on a summer World Cup, and, accordingly, we are proceeding ahead with a summer World Cup.
"Having said that, I know there are prominent members of the international football community who have raised preferences for a winter World Cup, whether in terms of the governing bodies or otherwise.
"Accordingly, we've always said that, whatever the international football community prefers, whatever a unified international football community comes up with, we're more than happy to accommodate.
"Having said that, regardless of whether the World Cup takes place in the summer or winter, the legacy promises that we've already made with regards to the coolant technology will continue - summer or winter.
Al Thawadi has urged the governing body to make a decision on the matter within the next two years.
"If we're going to look at it, then probably by 2013 or 2014," said Al Thawadi. "Again, this is an estimate off the top of my head.
"But I think by then, mainly because of the international schedule and football community, we should have a decision.
"Then again, nothing is impossible. We can come to 2017 and, if the international football community agrees to it and are unified, then the decision might change.
"But, off the top of my head, I think probably 2013, 2014 would be the most realistic deadline for it because, as everybody I'm sure appreciates, international sporting calendars in general are quite a complex issue to resolve, so it makes sense by then."