Decision on 2022 World Cup timing next year

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Daisy

A decision on whether the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be switched to winter will not be made before the start of 2015, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa, the head of the task force that is making the decision on the tournament’s timing, said in London yesterday.

FIFA had said earlier a decision could be made this year, but Sheikh Salman, who is the president of the Asian Football Confederation, said a lot needed to be done before everything fell into place.

“There are a lot of partners that we need to sit and talk with and find the best solution and I am sure this decision will not be taken before the first quarter of 2015.

“The decision is to look at the possibilities of the timing, as we speak now it is still June/July but the aim of this task force is to look at the other options and the concerns that some will have.”

Sheikh Salman was speaking on a visit to London where he signed a co-operation agreement with the Premier League, whose chief executive Richard Scudamore said lengthy talks were needed with all stakeholders about moving the time of the World Cup.

He said: “Our position is quite clear – Qatar were awarded it, Qatar should hold it. It was awarded in full knowledge of the conditions. The bid book contained how they were going to deal with those conditions and that is the current situation. Their entire campaign was about how you would cope with holding it in summer.”

Sheikh Salman said the fact the World Cup was being held in Qatar had acted as a catalyst to improve the rights and conditions of migrant workers. “I think because of the World Cup, this issue is being addressed and looked at. I am sure that the Qatar government  is co-operating positively in that sense. The best thing the World Cup is doing now is trying to improve the working conditions in Qatar.”