8 Jun 2013

Pressure mounts to move 2022 World Cup

1:27 pm on 8 June 2013

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino has added his weight to calls for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be staged later in the year due to concerns over weather conditions.

The quadrennial tournament is currently scheduled to take place at the height of the Qatari summer, when temperatures in the Gulf state can reach an inhospitable 50 degrees Celsius.

Qatar plans to spend around a billion dollars on air-conditioning systems but both FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his UEFA counterpart Michel Platini have called for the tournament to be moved from its traditional slot in the middle of the year.

Average temperatures in Qatar are markedly cooler in December, with highs of 24C and lows of 15C.

Although the major European leagues oppose altering their own schedules, Infantino says the World Cup should take account of each host country's specific climatic conditions.

England's Football Association chairman David Bernstein condemned the idea of shifting the date, saying it would be a case of a false prospectus.

Bernstein says Qatar's bid was for the World Cup to be played in June and July and for it then to be moved to the winter would be fundamentally flawed.