FIFA on Wednesday sought to dispel the confusion brought on by secretary general Jerome Valcke’s bizarre claim in a French radio interview that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will not be held during the summer months of June and July, insisting that no decision would be made about when the tournament will take place until after this summer’s World Cup.
Because of Qatar’s brutal summer heat, scheduling for this tournament has been the subject of fierce debate since the tiny Middle Eastern nation won the bid in December 2010. In an interview with Radio France on Wednesday, Valcke made it sound like FIFA is leaning heavily toward November-December World Cup. “The dates for the World Cup [in Qatar] will not be June-July,” he said. “To be honest, I think it will be held between November 15 and January 15 at the latest.
Various members of FIFA’s Executive Committee, which delivers the crucial vote on the issue, responded to Valcke’s comments by telling Sky Sports News how "shocked” they were. FIFA later responded with the following statement:
"Secretary general Jerome Valcke explained today in the Radio France interview -- as he had already mentioned previously -- that in his view the 2022 FIFA World Cup must take place in winter and the best possible time frame would be 15 November to 15 January. However, the precise event date is still subject to an ongoing consultation process which involves all main event stakeholders, including both the international football community (FIFA, confederations, member associations, leagues, clubs, players) as well as FIFA's commercial partners (commercial affiliates and media rights licensees).”