FIFA may delay Qatar World Cup in '22

By Evan Hilbert |

An announcement by FIFA's secretary general Wednesday suggesting that the 2022 Qatar World Cup would not be played in the summer shook up the soccer world -- including those within soccer's governing body.

Here's what Jerome Valcke told a French radio station, according to Reuters:

"The dates of the World Cup will not be in June or July. I think it will be played between November 15 and January 15 at the latest.

"If you play between November 15 and, let's say, the end of December, it's the time when the weather is the most favorable.

"You play with a temperature equivalent to that of a rather hot spring in Europe, you play with a temperature of 25 degrees (Celsius, or mid-70s Fahrenheit), which is perfect to play football."

Those temperatures do sound delightful for soccer, though FIFA's response was somewhat cool on the idea, suggesting that, logistically, that may be tough to pull off, given that professional soccer schedules would have to be re-arranged.

FIFA released a statement on the matter, which read, in part:

"The precise event date is still subject to an ongoing consultation process which involves all main event stakeholders, including both the international football community (FIFA, confederations, member associations, leagues, clubs, players) as well as FIFA's commercial partners (Commercial Affiliates and Media Rights Licensees).

"As the event will not be played until eight years' time the consultation process will not be rushed and will be given the necessary time to consider all of the elements relevant for a decision.

"Consequently, no decision will be taken before the upcoming World Cup Brazil as agreed by the FIFA Executive Committee."

FIFA vice president Jim Boyce went on to say that he was "shocked" by Valcke's statements.

"Whether Jerome was making a personal opinion or not I just don't know, but I can confirm this has not been discussed by the FIFA executive committee. I am very surprised about what has happened this morning," Valcke said, according to Reuters.

"100 per cent I can confirm that the FIFA executive committee has not decided to move the World Cup.

"The decision would not be taken until the end of 2014, or at the March 2015 meeting of the executive committee."

Originally, a decision regarding the dates of the Qatar World Cup was supposed to be made last October, but clubs and leagues had asked for an extension.

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