BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) - It would be a lose-lose situation for the Olympics and soccer if FIFA moves the 2022 World Cup to January-February and overlaps with the Winter Games, IOC president Thomas Bach warned on Tuesday.
FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, is considering whether to move the 2022 World Cup, scheduled to be played in Qatar in June and July, to a cooler time of the year and avoid the hottest months in the Middle East.
“Neither the World Cup nor the Olympic Winter Games would get the full attention they deserve,” Bach told reporters before taking in the first race of the alpine ski world championships. “It would cause major problems with the broadcasters. It would cause major problems with the sponsors.”
Temperatures in the Gulf can reach 50 Celsius (122 F) in June and July, the traditional staging dates for the World Cup.
Although the 2022 Winter Olympics host will not be finalised until next year, they are certain to be held in Asia, with only Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, still in the running.
Bach has made it clear the International Olympic Committee will not be moving the 2022 Winter Games from its traditional February time slot to avoid a clash.
FIFA is expected to make a final decision on the 2022 World Cup dates in March.
But Bach said that he received a commitment from Federation Internationale de Football Association President Sepp Blatter that an overlap of the two events will not happen.
“We have been talking with FIFA about this for quite a long time and we have the clear commitment of the FIFA president that this will not happen,” said Bach. “This is in the mutual interest, it would be a lose-lose situation.”
Editing by Frank Pingue