World Cup switch on FIFA agenda

FIFA executives will discuss switching the 2022 World Cup to the winter at a two-day meeting which starts in Zurich on Thursday.

Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA, is expected to ask the executive committee to agree to move the tournament in principle.

Britain’s FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce, however, believes the world governing body should delay any detailed decision on moving the tournament until there has been full consultation with the game’s stakeholders.

Boyce, from Northern Ireland, is prepared to back a decision in principle to move the World Cup to the winter to avoid the summer heat in Qatar but thinks it is too early to decide on the exact timing.

"I wouldn’t object to taking a decision on moving it in principle – I think nearly everybody is agreed on that," said Boyce.

"But I don’t think we can make any decision on the exact timing – should it be in November, January or whenever – until we have got everyone in the game around the table to find a solution."

UEFA’s 54 member associations have already backed the principle of playing in winter, a proposal championed by the European body’s president Michel Platini, a FIFA vice-president.

However, Platini has other issues regarding Qatar following an investigation last week which uncovered allegations of appalling treatment of migrant workers in the country.

"I’m much more concerned about that than the discussion about summer and winter," said Platini.

"There will be no decision. It is impossible. We must wait to see what proposal president Blatter will bring to the executive committee."

When asked when a decision about switching the tournament is likely, Platini told Sky Sports chief news reporter Bryan Swanson: "The World Cup is in nine years away, you have time to have some grey hairs."