The international skiing federation (FIS) has called on all winter sports governing bodies to oppose any plan to stage the 2022 soccer World Cup in the winter, fearing it will damage their own competitions.
Following a council meeting late on Sunday FIS said it planned to agree on a resolution with the other six winter sports federations in a combined attack on world soccer’s governing body FIFA’s plans to switch the dates of the tournament in Qatar.
“FIS will submit a proposal to the other six International Winter Sports Federations to sign a resolution against organising the World Cup during the winter sports season in 2022,” it said in a brief statement.
FIS has long viewed FIFA’s plans with suspicion, aware that a soccer World Cup, the world’s biggest and most popular single sports event, would take away viewers and sponsors from the skiing season.
Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup at the expense of rival bids from the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has since said it was a mistake to award a summer tournament to Qatar and is now looking for dates in the winter.
A date for the tournament has yet to be finalised and the expected switch to a winter tournament to avoid the searing summer desert heat in the Gulf state has also angered other leagues and soccer clubs.
FIS President Gianfranco Kasper has repeatedly warned such plans would impact the skiing competition and has called on FIFA to respect other sports federations.
The International Olympic Committee is also closely monitoring FIFA’s deliberations, fearing that a World Cup in January of 2022 - one of the dates under discussion - could also affect their own winter Olympics that year.