FIFPro Approve Proposed Winter Switch for 2022 WC

December 22, 2010

The proposal to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter months has been backed by the world footballers’ union, FIFPro. The suggestions have been supported by various FIFA officials, including FIFA president Sepp Blatter, due to summer temperatures potentially reaching 50C in the Middle Eastern Gulf.

In a statement, FIFPro said it “does not foresee any insurmountable problems in this regard”. The event which is traditionally held in June and July may well be hosted in January for the 2022 edition.

Tijs Tummers, secretary of FIFPro’s technical committee, did however question the decision to award Qatar the tournament based on it still being held in the summer. “It is not sensible in a country with an average temperature of 41C in June and July, a midday temperature of 50C and, above all, extremely high humidity”.

“Tourists are advised not to travel to Qatar in the summer months and inhabitants leave the country en masse during this period” added Tummers. “The summer months in Qatar also do not provide suitable conditions for a festival of football such as the World Cup should be, including for the supporters.”

However Tummers did support a switch to winter in order to counter the climate issues and also stated that the player’s may well be in better condition than usual after a long European season.

“Space will have to be made for the tournament, even though many countries already have a winter break,” added the secretary of FIFPro’s technical committee. “In Europe, competitive matches will have to be played in August and the second half of May and the first half of June.

“If you look at what happened last weekend with weather problems in Europe because of heavy snowfall, you could see this as an advantage rather than as a problem. And it might, perhaps, turn out that the players will be fitter at the start of a winter World Cup than was the case last summer at the World Cup in South Africa” concluded Tummers.