Qatar may host 2022 World Cup matches at 1 am
Qatar 2022 World Cup logo
A senior football official has said that the Qatar World Cup could still be staged in the summer but proposed that the games could start and finish very late.
Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who is considering challenging Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency, said that the event could still be held in summer but also said that the games would have to start as late as 1 am to avoid the worst of the heat.
The former Chilean football chief said that the teams could play the first games at 7 pm, the second games at 10 pm and the third matches at 1am, The BBC reported.
It is reportedly expected that the Qatar World Cup would be moved to winter in 2022 to avoid searing temperatures, with a November-December tournament currently being looked at by world football's governing body.
But Mayne-Nicholls said that such a solution would be chaotic to most major leagues around the world.
FIFA's executive committee controversially awarded the 2022 World Cup Qatar in 2010.
Mayne-Nicholls had expressed serious concerns about conditions in the Gulf state, when he led FIFA's technical commission, which assessed each bid for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.
Now the Chilean has come up with a novel solution to one of the biggest dilemmas the sport has ever faced. He said that one would change everything, adding that it could be a couple of hours behind in Europe and that would help TV.
Blatter has suggested that a switch to November-December 2022 is almost inevitable, although another possibility is to stage the tournament in January and February.
But Mayne-Nicholls said that would also mean a clash with European football leagues, as well as the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl in the United States, and that a slightly earlier summer tournament should be considered.
Mayne-Nicholls suggested that they could move the 2022 World Cup towards May, until the middle of June, adding that the weather would still be very warm at night, but the sun is not there and that could help.