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Feb, 23, 2011

Qatari PM re-opens winter WC debate

Qatar's head of state has suggested the 2022 World Cup could still be held in winter to avoid the intense heat of the country's summer.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently suggested the timing of the tournament in Qatar was "settled for the summer'' amid concerns over the problems a winter tournament would cause to the scheduling of domestic leagues.

But speaking during British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to the region, head of state Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani told Mr Cameron he would "ask the people what they want'' and a final decision had not been taken.

Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al Thani has also revealed he does not know the rules of football.

When pressed on his knowledge of the sport, he told reporters: "I must confess I am very weak in the sport. I do not know the rules. I like sport, of course, but I am not involved in sport.''

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