The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will not be played in the hot summer months of June and July, but most likely between November and January, Jerome Valcke, secretary general of the ruling football body FIFA, said Wednesday, dpa reported.
"The dates of the World Cup will not be from June to July. I think it will be between November 15 and January 15, at the latest," Valcke told France Info radio.
Valcke said it is still to be determined whether the showcase event would take place during the 2021-22 or 2022-23 season but that the expected dates will not collide with the Winter Olympics in February 2022.
Qatar pledged air-conditioned stadiums to avoid the intense summer heat when it was awarded the World Cup. But the football community soon agreed it would be better to move the tournament to autumn/winter, with a final decision to be made by the FIFA executive committee in December 2014.
"If you play between 15 November and the end of December the weather is most favourable, where you play at a temperature which is equivalent of spring in Europe, at an average temperature of 25 degrees. So it's perfect for football," Valcke said.
FIFA has started consultations with all major stakeholders such as clubs, leagues, national federations, sponsors and broadcasters on the issue.
Moving the World Cup would force domestic leagues and continental events to rearrange their schedules.