Official: We can beat Qatar heat with 1 a.m. matches at 2022 World Cup

Official: We can beat Qatar heat with 1 a.m. matches at 2022 World Cup

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 3:43 p.m. ET

As FIFA continues to consider how to offset the sweltering heat of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during the tournament's customary mid-summer spot on the calendar, another interesting proposal is reportedly being tossed around.

According to a report in BBC Sport, Harold Mayne-Nicholls claims the event could still be hosted in the summer, but that some games would have to kick off at ... get ready ... 1 a.m. local time.

"You could play the first games at 7 p.m., the second games at 10 p.m. and the third matches at 1 a.m.," Mayne-Nicholls told BBC Sport in Monday's report.

The idea to move the times could be an intriguing one to many, as the primary alternative to beat the Qatar summer heat has been moving the World Cup to a winter schedule — either January or November 2022. Among the problems with that are the interference with other soccer tournaments throughout the world that traditionally play in those months, and the competition that could come from other sports — most notably the 2022 Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl. FIFA has already said it likely would not go up against the Winter Olympics should they be scheduled in the traditional February slot.


The fact that the idea comes from Mayne-Nicholls is significant in that the former head of Chilean football has told media outlets he is considering challenging current FIFA president Sepp Blatter for the governing body's top post. Mayne-Nicholls oversaw FIFA's inspection of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding nations.

Temperatures in Qatar during the traditional World Cup summer months often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and at times far exceed it, into the 110s and even 120s.