Valcke says April-May too hot for 2022 World Cup

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

heat.

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

February.

”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

2015.