A FIFA task force held a meeting Monday, at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, to discuss the options for the 2018-2024 international match calendar, and more specifically, they discussed over when should the Qatar 2022 World Cup take place.
FIFA President, Joseph Blatter, who was in charge of inaugurating the meeting, openly admitted in May that it was a mistake to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, since the temperature in the region can exceed 40 Celsius degrees in June-July.
Monday’s meeting was the second one held by the FIFA task force members to discuss the issue, the fist one was held on September 8.
During the first meeting, the task force decided to re-schedule the dates of the tournament and two options were put forward, January-February 2022 or November-December 2022.
The European Club Association (ECA) and the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) representatives suggested Monday the possibility of playing the World Cup on April-May 2022. But this option was severely criticized by the task force, since the medical report said that it’s risky for the players to play in Qatar between May – September due to the heat.
The date of January – February 2022 should not be an option, because the 2022 Winter Games will most likely take place around that date, and Blatter agreed with Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee that both events should not clash.
Still, Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General, pointed out: “We are getting closer to narrowing the dates for the FIFA World Cup to two options — January – February 2022 or November – December 2022 — but FIFA has also been asked to consider May. We will summarize what we’ve heard today and provide feedback to all parties in order for them to prepare for the next meeting as we progress towards a final decision.” The task force is expected to meet again in early 2015.
Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, FIFA Executive Committee member, said about the meeting: “We are pleased with the level of detail provided by the participants and with the productive discussions that took place today. We now have a greater understanding of where each of the stakeholders is coming from and we will carefully consider these options as we move forward towards defining the international match calendar.”