FIFA: 2022 World Cup won’t be in summer

President Sepp Blatter had indicated the body was contemplating switching the dates.

Jerome Valcke, FIFA General Secretary. Picture: Eyewitness News.

PARIS - The FIFA World Cup in 2022 will not be played in the summer months in Qatar, secretary general Jerome Valcke said on Wednesday.

"The dates of the World Cup will not be in June or July. I think it will be played between 15 November and January the latest," he told France Inter Radio.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter had indicated towards the end of last year that the association was contemplating switching the dates to suitable climate conditions.

The decision to award Qatar the tournament was widely condemned at the time of the 2010 vote, and the apparent confirmation of a winter tournament will certainly have a huge knock-on effect on club football.

In May 2011, allegations of corruption within the FIFA senior officials raised questions over the legitimacy of the World Cup being held in Qatar.

In October last year, FIFA delayed making a decision on whether to play the tournament in the winter saying it was setting up a consultation process to decide when the finals should be held.

At the time, soccer's world governing body announced it would reach a conclusion sometime after this year's World Cup in Brazil.

As the World Cup usually occurs during the northern hemisphere's summer, the weather in Qatar was a concern with temperatures reaching more than 50 °C.

Valcke's surprise announcement comes more than three years after Qatar was originally awarded the tournament in December 2010.