Blatter now expects 2022 WCup to stay in summer

BY foxsports • February 7, 2011

FIFA president Sepp Blatter changed tack again Monday on the timing of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, saying there were no plans to shift the event to the winter months to avoid the searing heat.

Contradicting his recent comments that he expected the desert nation to move the tournament to the winter, Blatter told BBC: ''Everything is settled for summer. I am not in favor of one or the other.

''What I did say, (is) winter is not only January or February. I think for the time being the matter is on ice,'' he said.

Blatter denied that the idea of a winter tournament had originated with him, saying that former Germany great Franz Beckenbauer and UEFA president Michel Platini had come up with it first.

''Who said first that we should play in winter?'' Blatter said. ''It was Franz Beckenbauer, second Michel Platini and the world footballers' union.''

Any decision on moving the dates must first come from the local organizing committee in Qatar, which beat Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to host the tournament.

Blatter also dismissed reports that the tournament could be split between Gulf nations.

''Everything is settled now for summer, and all 64 matches will be played in the territory of Qatar,'' Blatter said.