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FIFA denies winter plans

FIFA has announced that there are no plans to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter to alleviate concerns over the country's climate.

Blatter supports World Cup move
Blatter expects winter World Cup
Blatter and Platini face Qatar backlash

As temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius in the summer in Qatar, there had been strong indications that FIFA was ready to move the tournament.

President Sepp Blatter said in December he would "definitely support" the idea of moving the tournament and earlier this month added: "I expect it will be held in the winter". FIFA vice-president Michel Platini also said moving the tournament to January "would be easier than to play in June".

However, AFC chief Mohamed bin Hammam, who led the successful Qatar bid, has since said it was "never our interest" to move the tournament and it now appears the tournament will go ahead in June and July as originally intended.

A FIFA statement read: "Any potential move of the 2022 FIFA World Cup from a summer to a winter period would have to be initiated by the football association of Qatar and would have to be presented to the FIFA executive committee."

In response to the statement, Bin Hammam said that the issue should not be discussed until after the 2018 tournament in Russia and reiterated his belief Qatar would be able to stage the event in the summer.

"If it is up to us then I believe it should be discussed after 2018," he said. "Let us now focus on (the World Cup in) 2014 which is only three and a half years from now.

"I think it should be left to those people who will be in charge of FIFA (in 2018) and of the leagues and the clubs to decide what they want for 2022."

He added: "Our bid was for the World Cup to be played in the summer and this is our opinion.

"Any other opinion should be discussed among all the stakeholders, with those being FIFA, national associations, players and clubs. Those people have to discuss everything.

"I am not opposing but I am not proposing to move it."

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