The World Cup in Qatar is becoming increasingly more likely to be held in the winter months of 2022, despite concerns over disruption to club football, according to the Daily Mail.
January and February or November and December are now the most likely options for FIFA, after a meeting took place to identify the most suitable dates in the international calendar to hold the 32-team tournament.
Concerns over the schedule
The European Clubs Association (ECA) have asked FIFA to also consider May 2022 as a further alternative, because of the disruption it would cause to domestic leagues by running the competition during winter months.
But this is expected to be dismissed due to concerns over how heat during that month could affect players and supporters.
"We are getting closer to narrowing the dates for the FIFA World Cup to two options - January/February 2022 or November/December 2022 - but FIFA has also been asked to consider May 2022,” FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said in a statement.
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"We are getting closer to narrowing the dates for the FIFA World Cup to two options - January/February 2022 or November/December 2022 - but FIFA has also been asked to consider May 2022"
"Representatives were given the platform to provide detailed reports on how these proposed dates might impact their relevant competitions, activities and/or stakeholders.
"We will summarise what we've heard today and provide feedback to all parties in order for them to prepare for the next meeting as we progress towards a final decision."
FIFA also stated that the 'ideal situation' for the Middle East, according to the Qatar 2022 chief executive Hassan Al Thawadi, would be 'for an all-inclusive World Cup to be held in the winter' although it remained open to the traditional June/July dates.
And UEFA is keen on the tournament being held during January and February as it would minimise interference with the Champions League.
However that option would raise the prospect of clashing with the winter Olympics - something which Sepp Blatter guaranteed would not happen.