With momentum building toward a November kickoff for the 2022
World Cup, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says April and May
are too hot in Qatar to play the tournament there.
”Let’s not lose time on this. April-May is not an option
because of the temperature,” Valcke said on Wednesday in a
statement provided to The Associated Press.
Valcke is leading FIFA’s consultation to suggest which months to
play after president Sepp Blatter rejected the traditional
June-July World Cup period because of Qatar’s searing desert
Blatter has suggested a November start, though spring is
supported by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of the influential
European Club Association.
Qatar hosted the Under-20 World Cup for FIFA in April 1995, and
its 2022 organizing committee insists it can still fulfill a
promise to host in midsummer in air-conditioned stadiums, training
camps and public areas.
However, FIFA’s own research into expected temperatures in Qatar
seems set to rule out a World Cup in May, which would cause less
disruption to the European season than stopping for most of
November and December.
”The climate studies for April and May are quite similar” to
June and July, Valcke said. ”The best option is between
mid-November and mid-January.”
This year, temperatures recorded in Doha topped 105 on May 11,
while April daytime peaks ranged from 79 to 100.
Though Qatar staged the 2011 Asian Cup from Jan. 7-29, Blatter
has removed the January 2022 option as ”totally disrespectful to
the Olympic family” ahead of the Winter Olympics scheduled that
”We have also consulted our economic and media partners,”
Blatter said on Sunday in Doha, after meeting with the Emir of
Qatar, who is a longstanding fellow member of the International
Olympic Committee. ”So many different partners are with FIFA and
the Olympic Games so we cannot have the partners in two
competitions at the same time.”
Valcke is expected to outline a ”road map” for FIFA’s
consultation process following a Dec. 4-5 meeting of its executive
committee in Brazil.
European clubs and leagues are expected to be among the
strongest voices in a process which is expected to run into