FIFA has been told by Europe’s top leagues that it must not rush into a decision on moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The tournament is currently scheduled to be played in June and July when temperatures can reach 50°C in Qatar, but UEFA president Michel Platini has called for it to be switched to winter, a proposal FIFA president Sepp Blatter has backed.
A meeting has been called for Oct. 3-4 when a final decision is expected from world football’s governing body, but the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) has released a statement urging a full investigation into the effects of such a move.
“The feasibility of any change to the calendar involves every aspect of football organisation across all countries, from the grass-roots to the major national representative tournaments and the leagues,” the statement reads.
“Any suggestion of staging the World Cup at a time other than the traditional period is a crucial issue for the European Leagues considering the impact on the organisation of domestic championships throughout Europe, and of the international football calendar around the world.
“The EPFL is of the view that no hasty decision shall be made by the FIFA executive committee of October 3-4.”
The statement adds that “such an important decision cannot be rushed with artificial deadlines” and says a full consultation with all football stakeholders should take place, and a proper medical assessment of a summer World Cup in Qatar would affect players and fans.
The EPFL also want FIFA to look at the consequences a move may have on the transfer system, any effects on commercial and media contracts and possible effects on the amateur game.
When it was suggested FIFA should have been aware that Qatar's climate would prevent a summer tournament taking place before they were voted as 2022 host in 2010, Blatter said: “That may well be so, and it may well be that we made a mistake at the time.”
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.