2022 Qatar World Cup set for November and December
2022 World Cup set for November start
The 2022 World Cup should be held in Qatar in November and December, a FIFA task force recommended Tuesday.
The recommendation will to the executive committee of international football's ruling body in Zurich next month for ratification.
FIFA decided to switch the tournament from the traditional time of June-July because of summer temperatures in Qatar which can exceed 40 degrees Celsius.
Task force chairman Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa has also recommended that the 2022 tournament should be shortened by a few days.
"We are very pleased that, after careful consideration of the various opinions and detailed discussions with all stakeholders, we have identified what we believe to be the best solution for the 2018-2024 international match calendar and football in general," he said.
The task force rejected a possible January and February date because this would have clashed with the 2022 winter Olympic Games.
Top European clubs represented by the European Clubs Association (ECA) had proposed the tournament be held from late April to May in order to minimise disruption to domestic and European club competitions.
A FIFA statement said that following a six-month consultation process, the task force concluded that an end-November to end-December tournament was "the most viable period for the 2022 FIFA World Cup."
The proposed event dates have the full support of all six confederations and will go before the executive committee meeting on March 19 and 20, a statement said.
The task force has recommended shortening the length of tournament while retaining 32 teams.
Because of the proposed switch, the 2021 Confederations Cup - normally played in the host country and seen as a World Cup dress rehearsal - could be staged in another Asian confederation country at the traditional June/July time.
Another competition - possibly the Club World Cup - could be relocated to Qatar as the test event for Qatar 2022.
The Task Force discussed how to achieve the "least impact" on the domestic European leagues and international match calendar by holding the World Cup in the middle of the European football season.
These included talks on moving the timeframe for World Cup qualifiers, possibly bringing forward the final stage to early 2022.
The task force will meet again to finalise the international match calendar after next month's FIFA executive committee meeting, which will also decide on the final 2022 World Cup dates.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach had last year sought assurances from FIFA president Joseph Blatter that the 2022 World Cup would not be switched to clash with the 2022 Winter Games.
The 2022 Winter Olympics are planned for February that year, with Beijing and Almaty, Kazakhstan, the only candidate cities bidding for the Games.
FIFA said that in view of the Olympics, the month of Ramadan beginning on April 2 in 2022, and the heat in Qatar from May to September, "the only remaining effective option is the November/December window."
For legal reasons, the 22nd edition of the World Cup must be played within the calendar year 2022, it said.