FIFA say no plans to change calendar

Friday, 21 January 2011 04:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

ZURICH (Reuters) - Football’s world governing body FIFA have no plans to change the international calendar and assert that any move to hold the 2022 World Cup in the winter would have to be instigated by host Qatar.

“Any potential move of the 2022 FIFA World Cup from a summer to a winter period would have to be initiated by the football association of Qatar and would have to be presented to the FIFA Executive Committee,” said FIFA in a statement on Thursday.

“At this stage there are no concrete plans to change the international match calendar.”

Earlier this month, FIFA president Sepp Blatter told a media round table in Qatar that he expected the event would probably be held in the winter.

Other figures, including UEFA president Michel Platini, have also supported a possible switch to holding the tournament in January or February, even though this would involve a complete re-organisation of the European domestic season.

But last week Mohammed Bin Hammam, the Qatari president of the Asian Football Confederation, said the 2022 World Cup hosts would resist efforts to reschedule the tournament in the winter.

Qatar’s successful bid was based on hosting in the event in the summer using air-conditioned stadiums to combat the fierce heat.