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The 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar is to be played in winter, if reports emanating from France are to be believed.
Speaking to French radio station France Inter Radio, Jerome Valke, the general secretary of tournament organiser FIFA, indicated the event would take place between November 15 and January 15, though it remains unclear if he was referring to November 2013 or 2014.
Though the tournament is eight years away, business travel traffic to and from Doha is expected to burgeon in the interim years.
Valcke is quoted by Eurosport as saying: “If you play between November 15 and, let's say, the end of December, it's the time when the weather is the most favourable.
“You play with a temperature equivalent to that of a rather hot spring in Europe, you play with a temperature of 25 degrees which is perfect to play football.”
FIFA has faced widespread criticism from around the world for its decision to award the tournament to the Middle Eastern emirate.
Thousands of medical experts have expressed concern about health and safety, saying players would be at huge risk if they were made to play in Qatar’s searing summer temperatures.
Playing the event outside of summer months in Europe would also disrupt domestic football league schedules in countries around the world.
Earlier this year FIFA said it would set up a consultation process to decide when the tournament should take place.
In 2010 Qatar was chosen as the World Cup destination ahead of England, who narrowly won the tournament in 1966 when it was the host nation.