ZURICH (AP) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter has announced that the world governing body has taken the first step in a process which could lead to the Qatar 2022 World Cup moving to the winter.
The executive committee has agreed for FIFA to begin a consultation process which will look at all the impacts of moving the tournament from June/July due to the extreme heat in the Gulf at that time of year.
Blatter told a news conference in Zurich: "The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar. There you have it.''
He added: "We have decided we are going to carry out consultations. These will include all the participants in the World Cup and stakeholders including players, clubs, leagues, national associations confederations and FIFA.
"There are also economic partners involved be they from marketing, the media and television and we need to bear in mind our obligations to these partners.
"We need to carry out very deep consultations and investigations and show some diplomacy and wisdom.''
Blatter also announced he would visit Qatar and meet the country's new Emir to "confirm" the World Cup and would raise the issue of the mistreatment of migrant workers.
He said: "I will go with a delegation in the name of the ExCo of FIFA for a courtesy visit but it is also a visit to confirm the World Cup 2022.
"But I will also touch on this concern which concerns many people in the world and that is the working conditions in that country but we can't be the ones who can change it.
"It is a responsibility not only for Qatar but the construction companies, and there are many European companies working there. We cannot turn a blind eye but we cannot make a direct intervention - but the Qatar government have confirmed
they will do so."