FIFA play down Valcke comments
FIFA has insisted no decision has been taken on moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter despite the organisation's secretary general Jerome Valcke stating that the tournament "will not be in June or July".
Valcke, who has been given the task of looking at alternative dates due to the fierce heat of the summer in Qatar, says it is likely to be held some time between November 15 and January 15.
Valcke may have jumped the gun - FIFA insist it is just his personal view - but it now looks certain to be in the winter of 2022 with November the most likely date.
He has been in close contact with Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, and has agreed to avoid any clash with Christmas fixtures. He also needs to avoid the winter Olympics in the February of 2022 which leaves November as the only realistic option.
Valcke told France Info radio station: "It will not be in June or July."
He added: "Frankly I think it'll be played between November 15 and January 15 at the latest.
"If you play between November 15 and the end of the year that's when the weather is at its most favourable."
Valcke suggested it will be "like a warm spring in Europe" with "an average temperature of 25 degrees, therefore it's perfect for football".
FIFA said in a statement that Valcke was expressing his own view and that no decision would be taken on the timing before this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
The statement said: "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 timeframe 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.
"No decision will be taken before the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil as agreed by the FIFA executive committee."
Britain's FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said he was "totally surprised" by Valcke's disclosure.
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