Published : 2013-03-03 20:00
Updated : 2013-03-03 20:00
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) ― FIFA believes the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could be moved to winter if medical evidence showed that playing in the intense summer heat would be dangerous.
FIFA has previously insisted that Qatar would have to make the request to move the tournament, while the tiny emirate has placed responsibility on world soccer governing body to make the call.
In a sign that the impasse could be ending, FIFA General-Secretary Jerome Valcke said the executive committee could decide on the shift to winter if the June temperatures are deemed dangerous.
“Maybe the FIFA Ex-Co will say based on medical report or whatever we really have to look at playing the World Cup not in summer but in winter,” Valcke said Saturday after a meeting of soccer’s rule-makers.
“As long as we have not fixed the international calendar, all alternatives are open,” he added. “It’s in 2022, nine years and we have two World Cups to organize in Brazil and Russia. So there is some time.”
Valcke said moving the tournament would not open up FIFA to legal challenges from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia, who lost out to Qatar in the 2010 vote.