By Andy Sambidge
Former Italy, Al-Ahli player says heat makes World Cup in summer not possible
Former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro, whose playing career ended in Dubai, has said it will not be possible to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in the summer.
In comments published by Italian news agency ANSA, the former World Cup winner said he expects the tournament to be switched to the winter because of the intense heat.
"(In Qatar) they have enormous economic resources to be able to do anything, but between June and September it is really hot, so FIFA will surely consider other dates," said Cannavaro, whose last team was Al-Ahli Dubai.
Earlier this month, UEFA president Michel Platini called for the 2022 World Cup to be staged in the winter.
Platini told Al Jazeera English in an interview that he is prepared to move European club competitions to accommodate the switch.
Cannavaro, the captain of the Italian team that won the 2006 World Cup, was forced to retire from football in July because of a serious knee injury.
"They love soccer in Arabian countries," he said, adding: "The local population is not very big, so there aren't so many people playing this sport. But they are starting to play now and they have the resources, although it will take time".
Last month, Qatar said it remained flexible over dates for the 2022 World Cup and was prepared to move the tournament to the winter months if FIFA asked.
Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee secretary general Hassan Abdullah al-Thawadi said no such discussions had yet taken place.
“Right now, the plans are on to host the World Cup in summer itself. However, if Fifa asks the organisers to postpone the championship to winter, we won’t oppose the proposal,” al-Thawadi said.