FIFA is all set to move its 2022 World Cup in Qatar from summer to winter, claims Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl.
Citing inside sources, Wahl says that a FIFA task force firmly believes that it would be in both the players' as well as the fans' best interest if the 2022 installment of the World Cup is played in November-December rather than summer.
Following the task force's recommendation, the FIFA Executive Committee is expected to make the schedule change official at next month's summit in Zurich.
Rumors of FIFA considering this change have circulated for several months now, and it seems officials have finally agreed that staging the tournament in Qatar's scorching summer heat wouldn't be wise.
Qatar's hot desert climate has temperatures that at times soar to 47 °C (117 °F) between the months of May to September. Playing 90 minutes plus of football in those conditions could've seriously jeopardized players' safety. Stadium attendance could have suffered too, and history tells us that once something threatens FIFA's earning capability, the organization always springs into action.
The original plan to shift the tournament to the January-February slot would've disrupted Europe's domestic leagues as well as continental cup competitions, which is why the November-December period was put on the table.
It will still affect a majority of Europe's domestic football seasons, which will now have to begin in summer to accommodate this schedule change.