London – The member countries of European governing body Uefa support moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to a different time of year, Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce revealed on Thursday.
Representatives from the 54 member associations discussed the proposals during a meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
However, Northern Irishman Boyce says that Uefa's members want world governing body Fifa to speak to the game's main stakeholders over when exactly the tournament should take place before announcing any alternative dates.
“What has come out of this meeting is an agreement by the Uefa countries that the World Cup cannot be played in Qatar in the summer. Everyone agreed on that,” Boyce told Sky Sports News.
“But we don't want Fifa to make a decision yet about when exactly it will be played. We still have nine years to go and we think Fifa needs to help find a solution that will not cause too much disruption.
“There is plenty of time to do that.”
Qatar was awarded the right to host the tournament in 2010, but Fifa, Uefa and footballers' union FIFPro have since called for it to be moved to a different time of year.
Mid-year temperatures in the Gulf can reach a sweltering 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), whereas the average highest temperature in winter is a markedly cooler 24 degrees Celsius.
However, proposals to change the date of the tournament have met with opposition from leading European clubs, who are concerned about disruption to their traditional calendars.
The chief executive of the money-spinning English Premier League, Richard Scudamore, has described the plans as “nigh-on impossible”.
Nonetheless, Fifa's executive committee is expected to agree in principle to move the World Cup to the winter at a meeting in Zurich early next month. – Sapa-AFP