Posted on September 20, 2013

It has been confirmed that Union of European Football Associations' (UEFA) 54 member associates have given their backing to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from summer to the winter.

But they want Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to consult with the game's major stakeholders before making any decision about exactly when the tournament is staged, according to Britain's FIFA Vice-President Jim Boyce said after the UEFA executive committee meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia: "What has come out of this meeting is that the World Cup cannot be played in Qatar in the summer."

"Everyone was certainly in agreement about that. "But what the 54 countries do not want FIFA to do is to make a decision yet on exactly when in the year it is going to be played," Boyce added.

"There is still nine years to go and people feel FIFA should sit down with all the major stakeholders and come up with a solution that would cause the minimum disruption to football. There is plenty of time to do that in my opinion, and hopefully football will be the winner. Boyce also revealed there could be disagreements in the future however over whether it is played in January 2022 or November/December of that year. FIFA's executive committee is now expected to agree in principle to move the World Cup to the winter at its meeting in Zurich on October 3/4."

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The British associations told the meeting they want to make sure that the Christmas week is protected for domestic football, while UEFA chiefs favour January so that it would not impact on the Champions League. FIFA is believed to favour November/December so that it does not clash with the winter Olympics.

Qatar has said that despite the high temperatures, it can stage the World Cup in the summer by building air-conditioned stadiums using newly environmentally-friendly technology. Stadiums would be cooled to around 28 Celsius. Earlier talking to BBC, Qatar 2022 Chief Executive Hassan al Thawadi said there is œno reason why Qatar should not host the event as planned in 2022.

"We have worked very, very hard to ensure that we are within the rules of the bidding, within the rules of the hosting agreement," he said. "At the same time, we are delivering on all the promises that we have made. We are working very hard to deliver it. The commitment is there," he said.

"[Qatar] is the right place. The Middle East is the right place. We are representing the Middle East. It is a Middle Eastern World Cup. The Middle East deserves to host a major tournament," the Qatari sports official said. "I would like to assure everybody that it is not an impossibility to host the World Cup in Qatar in the summer, he said and added Qatar could host the tournament at any time . A summer World Cup is what we bid for - it's the original plan - and we are going for it and we are moving ahead with it," he said.

source: Qatar Tribune