World Cup 2022 in Qatar has taken a step closer to being held in late November and late December after a FIFA task force recommended shifting the global event from summertime to winter.
The task force’s recommendations will be taken to FIFA executive committee meeting in Zurich on March 19 and 20 for a final decision as to dates of the tournament.
One of the propositions is for the final to be held on December 23, but FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce has stated that he will oppose any move to hold the final at that time because it would be too close to Christmas.
“I welcome the fact all the stakeholders have been involved and although this is not going to please everyone I think common sense has prevailed,” Boyce said. “It will cause a lot of disruption but it is eight years away and people should have enough time to make it work.”
A statement from FIFA confirmed the task force had recommended a shorter tournament to be held in winter 2022. January and February were ruled out because of the Winter Olympics, Ramadan made April an unavailable time slot, while the climate of Qatar blocked the World Cup from being played between May and September.
A statement from FIFA read: “The outcome of the discussions is also a proposed reduced competition days schedule with the exact dates to be defined in line with the match schedule and number of venues to be used for the 22nd edition of football’s flagship event.”
“The proposed event dates have the full support of all six confederations. The proposal will be discussed at the next meeting of the FIFA executive committee, scheduled to take place at the home of FIFA in Zurich on 19 and 20 March 2015.”
European football’s governing body, UEFA, said it supports the task force’s recommendations and believes the proposal benefits the fans.
A statement said: “UEFA belives that – for the benefit of the players and fans – the event should be played in winter and now awaits the final decision from the FIFA executive committee meeting.”
“UEFA sees no major issues rescheduling its competitions for the 2022-23 season, should the 2022 FIFA World Cup proposal be approved by the FIFA executive committee, and UEFA acknowledges that the competition may be shortened and thus that the release period of players be reduced.”
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