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FIFA chief: Jan-Feb 2022 Cup in Qatar not viable

Published: Updated:

FIFA President Sepp Blatter is standing by his opposition to holding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in January or February.

The comments Friday in Abu Dhabi came before Blatter travels to Qatar to discuss holding the tournament outside the blistering hot months of June and July in the Gulf.

Blatter, an IOC member, opposes the first two months of the year because that would clash with the 2022 Winter Olympics. He has suggested a November tournament.

January is favored by UEFA President Michel Platini, potentially Blatter's rival in the next FIFA leadership election in 2015.

Blatter also is expected to examine labor issues in Qatar. Like other Gulf states, Qatar relies on migrant workers mostly from South Asia. Right groups have long complained about abuses such as substandard living conditions and employers holding workers' passports.