Fifa delay decision to confirm 2022 World Cup switch, with task force to analyse moving the Qatar tournament to winter - International - Football - The Independent

Fifa delay decision to confirm 2022 World Cup switch, with task force to analyse moving the Qatar tournament to winter

The decision represents something of a U-turn for football's governing body

The controversial decision on whether to switch the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter will be postponed until a Fifa task force has reported on whether it is possible, it emerged today.

It was thought that a decision on moving the tournament, due to the searing summer heats in the Middle East, could be made this week at Fifa's executive meeting which began in Zurich today - but a remarkable U-turn has taken place.

Members of the 'Fifa family’, broadcasters and representatives of the European leagues will be part of the task force that analyse if such a switch is possible.

One highly placed Fifa source told the Evening Standard: “It was always media hype to expect the executive to come to such a decision this week without looking at all the consequences. The World Cup is nine years away and there is no need to rush to make a decision.

“Indeed the agenda for the meeting merely says we should ‘discuss’ the Qatar World Cup not whether we should move it. Indeed it is at the moment such low priority that it is item 25 in a 27-point agenda. So it is not even likely to be discussed today.”

Fifa continue to insist that the 2022 tournament will be staged in Qatar, however, the latest developments appear to suggest moving the tournament entirely remains a possibility.

The Evening Standard understands one reason for Fifa backing away from an immediate decision is that several television companies, particularly in North America, who have paid huge sums to broadcast the World Cup, have told Blatter that a winter tournament would not suit their schedules. A World Cup in late June and early July is ideal as it is the slack sports season for these broadcasters. Their agreement with Fifa is believed to include clauses which gives them the right to be consulted about the date.

Sepp Blatter is also well aware that the European leagues, led by the Premier League, are opposed to any winter World Cup due to the enormous disruption it would cause. The Fifa president is likely to present the decision to set up a task force as Fifa taking care to consult and not rushing into a judgement.

That there should be a postponement was publicly backed by Jim Boyce, from Northern Ireland, and the British representative on the Fifa executive.

He said: “I wouldn’t object to taking a decision on moving it in principle; I think nearly everybody is agreed on that. But I don’t think we can make any decision on the exact timing — should it be in November, January or whenever — until we have got everyone in the game around the table to find a solution.”

It has also found favour with Uefa president Michel Platini. The Frenchman, the only Fifa executive member to publicly disclose he voted for Qatar, has always argued it should be held in winter.

Yesterday, he said more pressing was the issue of the findings of an investigation which uncovered appalling treatment of migrant workers in Qatar.

“I’m much more concerned about that than the discussion about summer and winter,” he said. “There will be no decision. It is impossible.”

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week