FIFA likely to delay decision on 2022 World Cup dates

Tue Oct 1, 2013 6:38pm EDT
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By Mike Collett

LONDON (Reuters) - Despite widespread speculation that FIFA will vote to switch the dates of the 2022 World Cup on Friday, soccer's world governing body will probably delay making a decision and instead set up a task force to analyze the huge implications of moving the tournament from the searing heat of the Middle East summer.

Although the executive committee could agree in principle to move the dates of the World Cup, FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce told Reuters it should not rush into a decision and he wanted a task force set up to examine the issue.

"We will discuss when the World Cup will be held (and) we will also consider the plight of immigrant workers in Qatar whose harsh living and working conditions made headlines last week," he said.

Thomas Bach, the new president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said he doubted the World Cup would clash with the Winter Olympics in 2022, if the finals were moved from their traditional June and July dates, adding that FIFA was likely to opt for November 2022, if it switched.

In a development related to the vexed situation regarding the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 finals to Qatar on the same day in December 2010, Michael Garcia, the head of the investigative unit of FIFA ethics committee, will tour all the countries involved in the bidding processes, he was quoted as saying in France Football on Tuesday.

Garcia, a former U.S. Attorney in New York, is examining allegations of corruption in the voting that led to the awarding of the two World Cups.

A highly-placed FIFA source told Reuters the game's world governing body now had to grapple with a huge political, social and financial problem of its own making.

"This is because the executive committee members who awarded the finals to Qatar in December 2010 ignored recommendations from FIFA's own inspection report group that ranked Qatar second from bottom among the five contenders. They should never have chosen Qatar. It was flawed from day one."   Continued...