FIFA president Joseph Blatter emphasised on Wednesday that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would only be possible if it took place in winter, saying “where there’s a will there’s a way.”
“The World Cup should be a folk’s festival. Qatar is a small country, but if it’s supposed to be a folk’s festival, then the football cannot be played in the summer,” Blatter said.
“You can cool the stadiums but you cannot cool the entire country.”
He added: “We must protect our partners, our advertising partners, our television partners. We have to remain steadfast.” The FIFA boss also addressed the concern about a World Cup change meaning Europe’s top leagues would have to change their schedules.
The head of Qatar’s World Cup organising committee Hassan Al-Thawadi meanwhile reiterated the bid was for a World Cup in the summer, referring also to modern cooling technologies.
“But if the football community wants to have the World Cup in the winter, we are open for that,” added Al-Thawadi.