Former Netherlands star Ronald de Boer believes the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be played in winter.
Since Qatar was awarded the rights to stage the World Cup in 10 years time, there have been repeated calls for the finals to be held in January to avoid the Arabic state’s sweltering summer temperatures, which can exceed 48 degrees Celsius.
And de Boer, who was an official ambassador for the Qatari bid and now lives in the region, has echoed comments from UEFA president Michel Platini, believing a winter tournament would provide the best football.
“I think it should be in the winter,” he said. “And not only because of the heat, but also in football terms, with a football idea behind it, we see a lot of players burned out after a long season.
“Some players have only two weeks of preparation after the Champions League final and we want to see the Messi’s in great form in the World Cup and then it’s disappointing because they have a little trouble there and can’t give their best performance.
“So I think in the winter, on a football perspective I think that it can be something new, an innovation because we have to look forward. Maybe this outcome can help see new things and is beneficial for the game so why not try it.
“We see the African Nations Cup played in January and February. We have to give the players away and there are a lot of leagues that aren’t synchronised with the other leagues so I don’t see a problem why we can’t try to do it once in the winter.
“It will be beneficial for the players and for the tournament itself.”