A FIFA executive said on French public radio the 2022 World Cup in Qatar won’t be held in the sweltering midsummer desert heat, and should be moved to the winter months, but FIFA officials moved quickly Wednesday morning to stress it hadn’t yet come to final decision.
Temperatures in the Gulf emirate reach average highs of 104 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit in June and July, the traditional months the World Cup is held. Scheduling the tournament in such dangerously scorching weather conditions — as the organizers intended to do — has been hotly debated since hosting duties were awarded to Qatar in December 2010.
The best months to hold the tournament would be November through January, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said on French radio, reports the BBC.
“If you play between November 15 and the end of December that’s the time when the weather conditions are best, when you can play temperatures equivalent to a warm spring season in Europe,” Valcke said. “That would be perfect for playing football.”
FIFA was quick to say Wednesday that Valcke was expressing “his view” and that no decision will be taken until its executive committee agrees.