26 Feb 2015

2022 World Cup likely to be played at end of year

1:56 pm on 26 February 2015

A FIFA World Cup taskforce has called for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be shortened and held in November-December to avoid scorching summer temperatures.

Fifa World Cup trophy

Fifa World Cup trophy Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A tournament from the end of November to the end of December was "the most viable period" for the World Cup, the taskforce decided.

A source told AFP the dates proposed would see the tournament begin on November 26th with the final held on December 23rd.

A final decision will be made by the FIFA executive committee at their meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, on March 19th and looks likely to be approved despite Europe's top clubs stressing their opposition.

If the move goes ahead, it will be the first time the World Cup has been played in these months and away from its traditional northern hemisphere summer format.

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil ran for 32 days.

However, officials said there was no proposal to reduce the number of countries taking part from 32.

But Europe's top leagues and clubs, who fear a potentially costly disruption to their domestic championships, expressed immediate opposition.

English Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, who was a member of the taskforce, expressed the anger of European leagues and players.

He says he's very disappointed on behalf of all the European leagues and particularly the European clubs who provide most of the players for this World Cup.

FIFA has ruled out holding the tournament in January-February because of a clash with the Winter Olympics.

Traditionally the World Cup is played in June and July, but summer temperatures in Qatar soar above 40 degrees Celsius.

In November-December, the temperatures would be around 25 degrees Celsius.