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Japan coach Zaccheroni backs winter World Cup in Qatar

Published: Updated:

Alberto Zaccheroni, coach of Asian champions Japan, has thrown his support behind switching the date of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from July to January.

“Personally I think there would be a higher quality World Cup by moving it,” the Italian told reporters in Serbia ahead of Japan's friendly clash on Friday.

“Matches should be enjoyed in a pleasant environment and moving the tournament to January would be the answer.”

Zaccheroni led Japan to a record fourth Asian Cup title two years ago in Qatar, when organisers opted to host the event in January.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has launched a consultation process to decide whether the first World Cup in the Middle East should be held in the burning hot summer months or moved to the winter.

Blatter has said he would prefer a winter World Cup in Qatar with European Football Federations saying it would be 'impossible' to stage the event in the summer.

Qatar World Cup organizers have said they are able to stage the event at any time of year thanks to a cooling technology they are developing for stadiums, training area and fan zones which is powered by renewable energy.