FIFA recommends shorter November-December World Cup for Qatar 2022

Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:28pm EST
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By Amena Bakr

DOHA (Reuters) - FIFA has recommended that Qatar hosts a shorter World Cup in 2022 staged over the cooler months of November and December in a move sure to set world soccer's governing body on a collision course with the major European leagues.

Asian Football Confederation head Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa told reporters in Doha on Tuesday that those dates would be put to FIFA's executive committee to be ratified next month.

The big European leagues would prefer an April-May option to minimize disruption to their lucrative domestic programs.

"Some people have concerns, but whatever decision you're going to take will have some questions about it," Sheikh Salman said after an unexpectedly brief meeting of the Task Force looking at the dates.

"But... we need to look at the overall benefit of everybody," he added, following the hour-long gathering.

Soccer World Cups have always been staged over May, June and July since the first in Uruguay in 1930.

The latest a final has been contested was July 30 -- in Uruguay in 1930 and England in 1966. The earliest final was played out on June 10 in 1934.

June and July are not viable for Qatar, where temperatures routinely exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), and the working group's proposals would see the 2022 World Cup final contested a couple of days before Christmas.   Continued...

FIFA President Sepp Blatter announces Qatar as the host nation for the FIFA World Cup 2022, in Zurich in this December 2, 2010 file photo.  REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/Files