More time needed for Qatar decision: CONCACAF president

Fri Oct 4, 2013 3:43pm EDT
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ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA members need more time to decide whether the 2022 World Cup should be staged outside the traditional June-July period and a decision is unlikely on Friday, CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said on Friday.

FIFA's executive committee was meeting on Friday to discuss a proposal from president Sepp Blatter that the tournament in Qatar should, in principle, be moved to a cooler time of year.

"I don't think there will be a decision today, I don't think there should be a decision today," Webb, an executive committee member, told reporters before the start of the meeting at FIFA headquarters.

"We definitely have not been presented with enough analysis, we don't know what the stakeholders are (thinking), so I think it would be irresponsible for us to take a decision today."

He added: "(the decision is) very important, very important, it is a historic decision.

"(It) is an opportunity to make sure that the program for Qatar is correct and in good form, I think today we are going to focus... on how we are going to analyze the situation, what's in the best interests, how do we collaborate with various stakeholders," said Webb, who is from the Cayman Islands.

"For us, for CONCACAF, it's about taking our time."

Qatar was awarded the right to host the competition in December 2010, and the decision was based on its plans to stage the event in June-July using air-conditioned stadiums to combat the heat.

Despite Qatar's assurances and insistence that the plan is viable, there has been widespread concern over the health of the players and visiting fans in the searing conditions of the desert summer.

(Reporting by Claire Watson; Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by John O'Brien)