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Dec, 9, 2010

AFC: Qatar 2022 should be in winter

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general secretary Peter Velappan has recommended to FIFA that it changes the dates of the 2022 World Cup to January and February.

The World Cup is usually held across June and July, but temperatures in the desert state can top 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) at that time and, as Velappan claimed that cooling down stadiums and training grounds with air conditioners was "not a solution", he urged FIFA to move the competition to the winter.

"Qatar is a nice country ... but there is no way football can be played in June and July there. No player will ever want to play in these conditions," he said. "I would strongly recommend that FIFA reschedule the tournament to January, February. FIFA is obliged to do everything possible to provide the best for the teams and the football fans."

AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam has consistently played down heat being an issue at the tournament, but Velappan's voice joins that of FIFA executive committee member Franz Beckenbauer, who said earlier this month that moving the tournament would be cheaper than investigating solutions to cool down stadiums.

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