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FIFA president Sepp Blatter insisted on Thursday that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will go ahead in June and July as planned despite ongoing speculation that the tournament could be moved to the cooler winter months.
Blatter also reiterated that any request to change the timing of the event would have to come from the organisers themselves.
The FIFA chief said “The World Cup, FIFA World Cup 2022, is a competition with 32 Teams, 64 Matches and has to be played in June-July. And this principal has never be put into question by the organiser.”
The debate on playing games in the blisteringly hot Qatari summer months began almost immediately after the tiny desert state won the right to host FIFA’s flagship tournament in December 2010.
Despite the promise by organisers that matches will be played in air-conditioned stadiums the debate is likely to continue until at least 2016 when a final tournament timetable must be approved.