LONDON: The man overseeing the 2022 World Cup timing inquiry has confirmed earlier suggestions that a decision will not be made until at least spring of next year writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, president of the Asian Football Confederation and a member of the FIFA executive committee, heads up a task force consulting all spheres of the world game.
The task force was set up last October after increasing pressure from UEFA president Michel Platini and others for the 2022 World Cup finals to be switched out of the searing summer heat in host nation Qatar.
Sheikh Salman, in London to conclude an agreement with Premier League, said: “There are a lot of partners that we need to sit and talk with and find the best solution and I am sure this decision will not be taken before the first quarter of 2015.
“The decision is to look at the possibilities of the timing, as we speak now it is still June/July but the aim of this taskforce is to look at the other options and the concerns that some will have.”
Sheikh Salman rejected speculation that the finals might be taken away from Qatar which is under pressure on a number of other fronts.
He said: “Our position is clear: Qatar were awarded it, Qatar should hold it. It was awarded in full knowledge of the conditions.
“The bid book contained how they were going to deal with those conditions and that is the current situation. Their entire campaign was about how you would cope with holding it in summer.
“If anything is going to change, all we have ever said is ‘this is complicated and complex, all factors need looking at and weighed up, can we calm down and look at it properly?’