By Staff writer
Olympics president Thomas Bach says clash would be bad for everyone, including audience and sponsors
The president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach has called on FIFA president Sepp Blatter to ensure the 2022 World Cup in Qatar does not clash with the Winter Olympics.
Football's showpiece event is likely to be held in Qatar in January or February that year after controversially being moved from the summer due to soaring temperatures in the Gulf state.
Bach said in comments published by the BBC: "A clash would be bad for the international audience who would have two major sports programmes broadcast worldwide, so the pubic's attention would be divided.
"Also for the sponsors to manage, there are some that are common to FIFA and the IOC. To manage these two kind of programmes at the same time would be very difficult, so in the end there would be no winners."
His comments come a few weeks after those of International Ski Federation (FIS) president Gian-Franco Kasper who warned FIFA against holding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at the same time as the Winter Olympic Games.
Qatar has faced criticism of its ability to host the event, due to its high summer temperatures, conservative Islamic culture, which limits the consumption of alcohol and outlaws homosexuality, and its lack of hotel accommodation.
The country has repeatedly said it would be ready to host the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected and it intends to build air-conditioned stadiums.
Football's world governing body FIFA is still discussing the when to hold the tournament, with January-February or November-December being the favoured months.