Qatar World Cup 2022 could be played in JANUARY!
Published 23:00 03/12/10 By Martin Lipton
FIFA IS set for a head-on confrontation with Europe's big clubs as it emerged the 2022 World Cup could be played in JANUARY.
With the Qatari summer guaranteeing temperatures of 50 degrees plus in the desert, proposals are already being floated that could see the tournament moved to the winter.
While Qatar has promised 12 spectacular and air-conditioned stadia will be built, at a cost of billions, for the first World Cup in the Middle East, the problems of training facilities has brought up the prospect of a date switch.
FIFA's own technical report cited the potential danger to players if they tried to perform under the searing desert sun.
With a 32-team tournament, the idea of the competing nations merely utilising the stadium facilities is impossible for scheduling reasons, with up to four matches being played each day and conflicting demands for the best training time slots.
But in January, temperatures "dip" to a more modest average high of 22 degrees Celsius, dropping to 12 or 13 degrees C at night, with even the prospect of some modest rainfall, which would allow training to take place outdoors.
A FIFA source said: "We have always held our tournaments in the summer months before but we must think about what is best for the players."
And a move to a winter tournament in 2022 risks all-out war from the big clubs.
While Germany does have a long winter break, the rests in Spain and Italy are much shorter, while of course the Premier League plays throughout the whole winter.
Major leagues will be outraged at being disrupted for the World Cup, especially as FIFA would be likely to impose a minimum two-week preparation period for national sides ahead of the tournament.
That could lead to huge uproar and indignation, matching that as the awards of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the subsequent tournament to the 113th-ranked nation in world football, half the size of Wales and which has never qualified for the Finals.