FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke confirmed that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will not be played during the scorching heat of June and July, but FIFA have quickly backtracked on his comments.
Valcke confirmed the comments by FIFA president Sepp Blatter when he appeared on French radio, saying:
“To be honest, I think it will be held between 15 November and 15 January at the latest. If you play between 15 November and the end of December that’s the time when the weather conditions are best, when you can play in temperatures equivalent to a warm spring season in Europe, averaging 25 degrees. That would be perfect for playing football.”
However, FIFA quickly backtracked from Valcke’s comments, saying they would not make a decision until the end of this year, with vice-president Jim Boyce telling Sky Sports:
“This has to be a decision that’s made by the executive committee of FIFA. I’m totally surprised by what I’ve heard this morning.
The situation as I’m aware was that at the FIFA executive committee would await a report set up by all the stakeholders involved…and there would be no further discussions before the December executive meeting.
Whether Jerome was expressing a personal opinion, I don’t know, but this has not been discussed by the executive committee.”
Any change from summer dates for the World Cup would have a dramatic impact on national leagues, and could force the Premier League into a winter hiatus.