DOHA: A FIFA World Cup task force on Tuesday recommended the 2022 World Cup in Qatar be shortened and held in November-December to avoid the scorching summer temperatures.
“There is one solution, November-December,” said FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke after a meeting of the task force in Doha.
FIFA’s executive committee will make a final decision at a meeting in March. But a FIFA statement said: “The proposed event dates have the full support of all six confederations.”
Asian Football Confederation chief Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, who headed the task force, said all options would be reviewed at the FIFA meeting next month, when the recommendation is expected to be ratified by the executive committee of the governing body.
“Some people have concerns, but whatever decision you’re going to take will have some questions about it,” Shaikh Salman said.
“But… we need to look at the overall benefit of everybody,” he said.
FIFA said the task force had also recommended a shorter competition. But it did not say by how much the tournament would be shrunk.
“The outcome of the discussions is also a proposed reduced competition days schedule with the exact dates to be defined in line with the match schedule and number of venues to be used for the 22nd edition of football’s flagship event,” said the FIFA statement.
While there are no plans to reduce the size of the tournament from 32 teams or 64 matches, the tournament is expected to be shortened by a matter of days.
European football’s governing body, UEFA, has already accepted a switch to winter however.
The move to November and December is seen as necessary because of the extreme weather condition in Qatar during the summer, when temperatures soar above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).
Officials from football’s global governing body, top leagues and players’ representatives are attending the crucial meeting in Doha.