LAUSANNE - The 2022 World Cup
in Qatar could be held at the beginning of the year or the end
of it, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday.
"For FIFA, if there's the will to change something for the
international calendar for one year, it's possible to do,
because if there's a will, there's also a solution," the head of
world football's governing body told reporters.
"But for now, there are the pros and cons but it is
premature to make any decisions on what may happen but all I am
saying is that winter is not only January and February, winter
is also the end of the year."
Since Qatar in December won the right to host the finals
with a plan to stage them in June/July, Blatter has said that
the 2022 tournament could be held in the winter time to avoid
the summer heat in the desert state.
This idea has triggered a wave of criticism with many league
officials around the world complaining that the whole club
competition calendar would have to be adjusted to accommodate a
winter World Cup.
Blatter was speaking on Tuesday at the International Olympic
Committee (IOC) headquarters during a visit by the United
Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The IOC is especially sensitive to a winter World Cup
because it could hamper that year's winter Olympics. It has
called on FIFA to discuss the matter with Olympic officials once
it has decided on the dates of the tournament.
"It would be sensible once a decision is envisaged by FIFA
to sit around the table to see it is not harmful for either of
the two parties," IOC president Jacques Rogge said earlier this
Winter Olympics are traditionally held over 16 days between
the last week of January and the end of February. The 2022 Games
will be awarded in 2015.
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