FIFA's medical chief raises concerns over Qatar heat

Michel D'Hooghe says he supports calls to shift 2022 world cup tournament to winter months
(Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 16 Mar 2013 10:06 AM

FIFA's medical chief Michel D'Hooghe has said he is concerned about the prospects of playing the 2022 World Cup in the summer heat of Qatar.

On Friday he entered the debate about whether the Gulf state should stick to the traditional slot of June for a World Cup or consider a shift to the winter months.

"Personally, I think it would be a good thing if we could play this World Cup in better temperatures than in full summer in Qatar," D'Hooghe said in comments published by Associated Press.

His comments echo those of UEFA president Michel Platini who has called on several occasions for the event to be moved to the winter.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was quoted as saying that for the time being "it is a problem without solution".

"From a medical point of view, I can say we are concerned," D'Hooghe said.

"The public that has to move from city to city and that has to live in temperatures that are very elevated."

Blatter insists that if any change is made it will have to come from local organisers.

FIFA says the options could remain open until the 2019-22 international calendar is set. There is no precise deadline to approve it.

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