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FIFPro believes that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be held in winter instead of summer. The world players’ union is therefore pleased about FIFA’s willingness to consider this change.

 

Initially, FIFA said it did not want to consider moving the 2022 World Cup from summer to winter. After all, the World Cup bids of all candidates were based on the expectation of a summer World Cup. Nevertheless, FIFA president Sepp Blatter and general secretary Jerome Valcke have since said that they are considering such a change. However, according to FIFA, the initiative to do so must be taken by Qatar.

 

FIFPro believes that it would be preferable to move the 2022 World Cup to the winter months. Tijs Tummers, secretary of FIFPro’s Technical Committee: ‘It is not sensible to award a World Cup in the summer to a country with an average temperature of 41ºC in June and July, a midday temperature of 50ºC and above all, extremely high humidity.’

 

Tummers continues: ‘Tourists are advised not to travel to Qatar in the summer months. Inhabitants of Qatar leave the country en masse during this period. 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.’

 

The quality of the football and the working conditions for the players are FIFPro’s priority. Tummers: ‘The organisers have guaranteed that the temperature inside the stadiums and at the training centres will be reduced to 27 ºC by means of air-conditioning. That is all well and good, but it obviously does not fit in with ecological thinking, which we expect to be even more widespread by 2022.’

 

'We will of course have to take a careful look at the international match calendar, but FIFPro does not foresee any insurmountable problems in this regard', Tummers adds. ‘Space will have to be made for the tournament, even though many countries already have a winter break.' 

 

'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.’