UEFA’s 54 member associations have today voted in favour of backing a proposal to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter.
Discussion has developed in recent months, since FIFA awarded the Middle Eastern country hosting rights for the tournament, over the appropriateness of running the competition during the summer months when temperatures will exceed 40C.
Whilst the host country has rejected calls for the tournament to be moved to cooler months of the year, FIFA President Sepp Blatter recently suggested awarding them the competition for the summer ‘might have been a mistake’.
On from this, UEFA have today announced that their 54 member associations have voted in favour of backing such a move too.
“What has come out of this meeting is that the World Cup cannot be played in Qatar in the summer,” said FIFA Vice-President Jim Boyce today.
“Everyone was certainly in agreement about that. But January has not been discussed, I don't know where that came from.
“The European federations don't want FIFA to just say, carte blanche, ‘here are the dates’, without consultation. But the actual month, or time, none of that has been mentioned.”
It is believed that UEFA’s member associations are split between January, November and December, whilst FIFA chief Blatter has put forward November as his desired month.
“There is still nine years to go and people feel FIFA should sit down with all the major stakeholders and come up with a solution that would cause the minimum disruption to football,” continued Boyce.
“There is plenty of time to do that in my opinion, and hopefully football will be the winner.”
UEFA are holding a series of meetings this week in Dubrovnik, Croatia
The European Club Association, who represent 214 clubs from 53 of UEFA’s member associations, are also in Dubrovnik to put forward their views, with their President Karl-Heinz Rummenigge signposting April as a possible new month for the competition.
UEFA President Michel Platini is expected to outline the European body’s position on the matter at a Press conference on Friday.
FIFA’s executive committee will then meet in early October in Zurich to discuss the possibility of moving the 2022 edition of the tournament.