It is well-known that FIFA President Sepp Blatter wants to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from its traditional summer slot to the winter. Because of Qatar’s dangerously high summer temperatures, Blatter wants to move the dates of the World Cup rather than switch the host. On Sunday, Blatter talked to the Associated Press and is confident that the 2022 World Cup will be moved to the winter months.
”I would be very much surprised, more than surprised, if the ExCo (executive committee) will not accept the principle you cannot play in summer in Qatar,” Blatter said in an interview on the sidelines of the annual charity football tournament in his home village. ”What will be following, this would be then decided later.”
However, I wouldn’t be as confident as Blatter. The World Cup should not happen in Qatar in the summer, but who’s to say that big-name soccer leagues would be okay with a winter move? Soccer leagues like the English Premier League and Major League Soccer play in November and parts of December.
In addition, it is unclear when a winter 2022 World Cup would take place, but due to the 2022 Winter Olympics, the World Cup cannot happen in January and February.
The executive committee will be meeting on October 3-4 to discuss the possible move and could approve the change. If the World Cup shift is approved, then the 2019-2022 international calendar will need to be set and adjusted for the World Cup date change.
The 2022 World Cup drama is far from over, and don’t expect this to be the last time you hear Blatter talk about wanting a winter World Cup in Qatar. Moreover, domestic soccer leagues could show their disapproval if a winter move is granted.
FIFA screwed up by awarding Qatar the 2022 World Cup to begin with, and now they have to deal with some big decisions that could cause a mighty mess. I say FIFA should just switch the 2022 World Cup’s host, which I think will be less of a logistical mess than moving the dates of the tournament.