Saturday 20 January 2018

FIFA task force calls for 'shorter' Qatar World Cup to take place in November/December

Martyn Ziegler

A FIFA task force has recommended playing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in November/December.

The task force has also recommended the World Cup should be shortened in compensation for moving the tournament to the winter to avoid the fierce heat of June/July.

FIFA's executive committee meeting in Zurich on March 19 and 20 will make the final decision after the task force recommended "end-November/end-December as the most viable period for the 2022 FIFA World Cup", said a FIFA statement.

The FIFA statement confirmed the task force had recommended a shorter tournament.

It said: "The outcome of the discussions is also a proposed reduced competition days schedule with the exact dates to be defined inline with the match schedule and number of venues to be used for the 22nd edition of football's flagship event.

"The proposed event dates have the full support of all six confederations. The proposal will be discussed at the next meeting of the FIFA executive committee, scheduled to take place at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on 19 and 20 March 2015. "

The statement said the task force was exploring the option of staging the Confederations Cup in another Asian confederation country during the traditional June/July window in 2021, and using another FIFA competition such as the Club World Cup as the operational test event for Qatar in November/December 2021.

Irish football legend Liam Brady told Morning Ireland: "“Europe is the key, they’ve got to get Europe on side. Europe supplied 75pc of the players who played in the Brazilian World Cup so they’ve got to get Michael Platini and all the top clubs in Europe on side.

“They’ve got seven years to convince them.

“We knew this was going to happen, we knew they were going to have to change the timing of the World Cup because players and fans couldn’t possibly put up with the temperatures that were going to be prevalent at that time of the year in Qatar.

"It’s going to take a long and hard negotiation, probably Sepp Blatter is not the man to lead that negotiation. There’s huge animosity to his leadership in Europe.

"You’ve got two new challengers from Europe. You’ve got the Dutch FA president and you have got Luis Figo, who are genuine contenders.

"That’s only going to gain momentum now after this u-turn from FIFA."

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