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Jan 28, 2014

Blatter keen on 2022 winter World Cup

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke admits there will still be issues leading up to the World Cup in Brazil.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has acknowledged in an interview with France Football that "it's not possible" to play in the searing summer heat of Qatar.

Qatar study says heat deters fans

The Gulf state will host the 2022 World Cup, but a FIFA-led consultation is underway to study the prospect of switching the tournament from its traditional summer slot to the winter in order to avoid players toiling in temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius.

"[UEFA president] Michel Platini has been saying for the last two years that we can't play in summer," Blatter, 77, told the weekly magazine. "Well, that's his point of view.

"I caused a stir a few months ago by saying that we had to take a lead and see if we could play in winter. Because 45 degrees Celsius in summer, it's not possible. FIFA's Executive Committee therefore decided to make some consultations, the results of which need to be waited for.

"We'll take a decision at the end of this year if possible, or in 2015. There's no rush. Personally, I think that if there's a will, there's a way."

Blatter's comments reinforce those made by FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke recently when he stated to French media the 2022 World Cup would be held in winter.

"We said from the off 'no' to January/February 2022 because of the Winter Olympics," explained Blatter. "The tournament specifications for 2022 planned for a World Cup in June or July. It was, however, also pointed out that -- from a medical point of view -- playing summer would be a problem. However, the people who voted didn't take that into account."

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