UEFA President Michel Platini has said that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be played in wintertime, to avoid the blistering heat of the Gulf state’s summer season.
Platini told Al Jazeera he is prepared to move club competitions to accommodate the switch to a cooler time of year, a change that will likely not sit well with European clubs and football fans.
Platini, the most powerful man in European football, was speaking to Al Jazeera's Lee Wellings in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, where the draw for the Euro 2012 will be held later on Friday.
The remarks are significant as Platini is favourite to replace current FIFA President Sepp Blatter and may well be in charge of world football at the time of the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
"How can people go to Qatar in 60 degrees in June? If people can't come to enjoy it, it's not good," Platini said.
"So when is the best moment for this beautiful World Cup? It is the most important thing in football and we have to play it at a good moment. If we play in wintertime, this will not be a problem.
"They said they will [cool] the stadiums but people will come to Qatar for two or three weeks. If it is 60 degrees they will never leave the hotel, which is not correct"
UEFA President Michel Platini
"They said they will [cool] the stadiums but people will come to Qatar for two or three weeks. If it is 60 degrees they will never leave the hotel, which is not correct.
"That is why we need to think of what is the best moment for the World Cup, because it is the best moment of the year in football."
Platini also said that not everyone approved of the decision to organise the tournament in the Gulf state.
"But I voted for Qatar. It's nice to be in another part of the world where people never organised a World Cup."
In its winning bid to host the tournament, Qatar assured FIFA that it will spend billions of dollars on building air-conditioned stadiums to combat the dangers of playing in boiling summer temperatures.
Source: Al Jazeera