A winter World Cup in Qatar in 2022 looks more and more likely after FIFA said the players’ health was top priority.
FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb said on Thursday that ‘if something is not good for the players, it’s not good for the game’ when asked about the possibility of playing the 2022 World Cup in the European winter.
With the possibility of temperatures reaching 50 degrees in Qatar in June and July, the traditional months for a World Cup, Webb believes the players’ well-being must be taken into account.
FIFA had remained stubbornly committed to a summer World Cup in Qatar until earlier this week when president Sepp Blatter admitted for the first time that awarding the tournament to the Middle Eastern country may have been a mistake.
Blatter’s admission, plus hints from the likes of Webb, has increased speculation Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup in the northern hemisphere’s winter.
“Look, obviously with FIFA there’s a lot of concern,” Webb said.
“For me, personally, the game is about players.
“And, for me, if something is not good for the players, then it’s not good for the game.”
FIFA’s Executive Committee is expected to decide on whether the 2022 World Cup should be held during Qatar’s winter at a meeting in Zurich at the start of October.