The Qatar World Cup could start in January or November in 2022, FIFA said in proposing two alternative dates to the usual June-July window Monday. A mid-summer World Cup in Qatar could present heat issues.
If the World Cup starts in January 2022, it could conflict with the 2022 Winter Olympics, if the Olympics take place in the usual February window.
In its press release, FIFA specifically said “January/February” and “November/December” were two alternatives. The World Cup lasts 32 days, so it will take up parts of two different months.
This goes against the likely windows FIFA presented earlier. In January, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said the 2022 World Cup would definitely not be played in June or July, according to Reuters, citing France Inter Radio.
“I think it will be played between November 15 and January 15 the latest,” Valcke said in January, according to Reuters.
In November, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is also an International Olympic Committee member, said he didn’t want the 2022 World Cup to clash with the Olympics.
Around the same time, winter sports federations expressed concern over the World Cup possibly being moved to November, which would coincide with the start of skiing, sliding and skating seasons.
The 2022 Winter Olympics will be in Almaty (Kazakhstan), Beijing or Oslo, with a vote to take place next year.
FIFA said a task force will meet again in November and then February before the final 2022 World Cup dates are finalized.