FIFA president Sepp Blatter has admitted the 2020 World Cup in Qatar could be moved to winter due to the potentially dangerous summer heat.
The Arab state was awarded the tournament by the world football governing body in December 2010, with initial concerns raised over the likely temperatures at that time of year dismissed out of hand.
However, with a lack of provisions for protection against the weather having received widespread criticism, Blatter has hinted at a possible climbdown.
“If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can’t play football in the summer,” he said. “You can cool down the stadiums but you can’t cool down the whole country.
“There is still enough time. I will bring this up to the executive committee.”
Qatar is expected to become the first Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup, but boasts peak temperatures of over 40 degrees during July.
The country’s bid for the competition has been dogged by allegations of bribery since the decision was announced.