Doctors to decide on 2022 World Cup in Qatar

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The Independent Football

Fifa confirmed yesterday that they would only switch the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter months if there was strong medical evidence that the Gulf's searing summer heat could endanger players.

Otherwise, said Fifa's secretary-general, Jerôme Valcke, the only way the tournament could be staged in November and December – as proposed by Michel Platini, the Uefa president – was if Qatar made such a request.

"It is strange that we are talking and talking about this issue when we know that the people who have to ask the first question is Qatar itself," said Valcke.

"Then again, maybe the Fifa executive committee will say, based on medical reports, that we really have to look at playing the World Cup not in summer but in winter."

Valcke was speaking during the annual meeting of the International Football Association Board (Ifab), the game's law-making body who comprise Fifa and the four British associations. Goal-line technology was, as expected, high on the agenda and agreement was reached to allow it to be used in any competition that could stump up enough cash, even on a match-by-match basis.

The Premier League have already said they will introduce technology for the start of next season and are in advanced discussions with two manufacturers, Hawk-Eye and GoalRef. But the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish associations said they would wait until the estimated six-figure costs come down.

Fifa said they will decide on 2 April which of four available systems to use at this year's Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Meanwhile, Ifab repelled attempts to persuade them to disband themselves amid the ongoing Fifa reform process. Resentment has increased among overseas countries that the four British associations have an undeserved privilege. But delegates at yesterday's meeting merely agreed on an expanded consultation process with fellow federations.

They also agreed to change the wording of the offside law to reflect more accurately what constitutes interfering with play. And a proposal to place electronic tags in players' shirt- collars to monitor their health during matches will be assessed by a group of medical experts.

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