Uefa votes for winter World Cup in Qatar

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The 54 members of UEFA have voted for the 2022 World Cup to be held in winter, amid concerns over the health risks of a summer tournament in Qatar.

The heat in the Middle Eastern country can rise to 50C during the summer months, prompting fears that it would be unbearable for players and fans.

At a meeting in Croatia, there was a widespread acceptance that the tournament could not go ahead in summer, highlighted by FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce.

"The World Cup cannot be played in Qatar in the summer. Everyone was certainly in agreement about that" said Boyce, who went on to calm fears about the organisation of the tournament.

"There is still nine years to go and people feel Fifa should sit down with all the major stakeholders and come up with a solution that would cause the minimum disruption to football. There is plenty of time to do that in my opinion."

Members of FIFA have recently criticised the decision to award the World Cup to Qatar, with their medical chief, Michael D'Hooghe indicating that the health risks of a summer tournament would be too dangerous, particularly to the fans.

Sepp Blatter himself has conceded that awarding the World Cup to Qatar may have been a "mistake", although he has refused to contemplate changing the location of the tournament, despite the suggestion of FA chairman Greg Dyke that this may have to be the case.

The decision to move the World Cup to Winter is unlikely to go down well with the other nations which bid for the tournament. Australia have already suggested that they may seek compensation from FIFA if the tournament is moved, as they spent money on a bid for a summer tournament.

Officials from FIFA are expected to come closer to a final decision at a meeting in Zurich in early October.

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