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SBD Global/July 18, 2013/International Football

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Wants 2022 Qatar World Cup Moved To Winter

FIFA President Sepp Blatter plans to ask the governing body's exec committee to consider moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter "in order to avoid the searing summer heat," according to the AP. Blatter said, "If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can't play football in the summer. You can cool down the stadiums but you can't cool down the whole country." Moving the tournament to the winter would have a major impact on the schedule of European football leagues, "which would have to change things for at least one season." Blatter: "There is still enough time. I will bring this up to the executive committee." Air-conditioned stadiums to beat the heat were a defining theme of Qatar's bid, "but the cooling technology only resolves the problem in venues for players, fans and officials." Blatter: "We have to protect our partners, our commercial partners, our TV partners. We have to be tough on this." Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee Secretary General Hassan Al-Thawadi said that Qatar bid for a tournament in the summer, "but left the option open of a possible switch to another time of the year" (AP, 7/17).

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