By Chris Wright
“And the cheque’s in the post, yes?”
FIFA have decreed that they’d prefer the pesky old 2022 Qatar World Cup to not be played in the sweltering, 35-45°c Gulf emirate summertime but rather in the altogether more clement 25-30ºc Gulf emirate ‘winter’, after general secretary Jerome Valcke provisionally confirmed today that the tournament will be held between November and January.
“The dates of the World Cup will not be in June or July. I think it will be played between November 15 and January 15 the latest,” Valcke told France Inter Radio.
“If you play between November 15 and, let’s say, the end of December, it’s the time when the weather is the most favourable.
“You play with a temperature equivalent to that of a rather hot spring in Europe, you play with a temperature of 25ºc, which is perfect to play football.”
Now, among a zillion other logistical problems that a winter World Cup will dredge up (the final of the 2022 World Cup not actually being in 2022 being a fairly major one!), there is already an Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to begin in January 2023 – though Sepp Blatter has confirmed that FIFA will iron out all the kinks before a final, firm decision about the World Cup date is made sometime in December 2014.
In FIFA we trust.