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FIFA recommends shorter Nov-Dec World Cup for Qatar 2022

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa said all options would be reviewed at the FIFA meeting next month

Published: Updated:

The FIFA task force looking into dates for the Qatar World Cup has recommended a shorter tournament to be staged in November and December 2022, the head of the Asian Football Confederation told reporters on Tuesday, according to Reuters news agency.

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa said all options would be reviewed at the FIFA meeting next month, when the recommendation is expected to be ratified by the executive committee of world soccer's governing body.

"Some people have concerns, but whatever decision you're going to take will have some questions about it," Sheikh Salman said after a meeting of the task force.

"But... we need to look at the overall benefit of everybody."

There are no plans to reduce the size of the tournament from 32 teams or 64 matches, but the tournament would be shortened by a matter of days.

Winter tournament

On Monday, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation head, had ruled out May, the preferred option of Europe’s top leagues and clubs, the BBC reported.

After the last task-force meeting in November, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said the January/February 2022 or November/December 2022 were the preferred options.

But Sheikh Salman said a January/February World Cup was not desirable because it would clash with the Winter Olympics.

“We don’t want it to collide during that period,” the BBC quoted him as saying.

“Stakeholders are concerned about playing in the summer, so we have to change to winter. That’s January or November. They have to make a choice - either A or B.

“But I think everybody agrees that in January or February it’s difficult to play for the reasons that I mentioned before (Winter Olympics).

“The only option that I see is November/December.”

The European Clubs’ Association said on Monday they still hoped to push for a May World Cup at the Doha meeting to lessen the impact on their competitions.

Sheikh Salman hoped his proposal was “a done deal” even before the meeting, the BBC said.

“Hopefully we can settle this issue once and for all,” he said.