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Valcke: no summer 2022 World Cup

• Jim Boyce says he is 'totally, completely shocked'
• Fifa says no decision has been made

Confusion reigned at the top of football's world governing body after the Fifa general secretary, Jérôme Valcke, said that the 2022 World Cup will not be played in the summer months in Qatar.

"The dates of the World Cup will not be in June or July. I think it will be played between November 15 and January 15 the latest," he told France Inter Radio. "If you play between November 15 and, let's say, the end of December, it's the time when the weather is the most favourable.

"You play with a temperature equivalent to that of a rather hot spring in Europe, you play with a temperature of 25C, which is perfect to play football."

Valcke's comments appeared to catch his colleagues on the hop, with Jim Boyce, one of Fifa's vice-presidents, saying: "I'm totally, completely shocked.

"It absolutely 100% has not been decided as far as the executive committee are concerned," the Northern Irishman told Sky Sports News. "It was agreed all the stakeholders should meet, all the stakeholders should have an input and then the decision would be made, and that decision as far as I understand will not be taken until the end of 2014 or the March executive meeting in 2015."

He added: "Whether Jérôme was making a personal opinion or not I just don't know, but I can honestly confirm that this has not been discussed by the executive members of Fifa so I'm very surprised at what has happened this morning."

Fifa reacted by releasing a statement saying that Valcke was expressing his own view and that no decision had been taken on the timing.

"Jérôme Valcke explained today in the Radio France interview – as he had already mentioned previously – that in his view the 2022 Fifa World Cup must take place in winter and the best possible time frame would be 15 November to 15 January," it said.

"However, the precise event date is still subject to an ongoing consultation process which involves all main event stakeholders, including both the international football community [Fifa, confederations, member associations, leagues, clubs, players] as well as Fifa's commercial partners [commercial affiliates and media rights licensees].

"As the event will not be played until eight years' time the consultation process will not be rushed and will be given the necessary time to consider all of the elements relevant for a decision. Consequently, no decision will be taken before the upcoming 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil, as agreed by the Fifa executive committee."

In October, Fifa had 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 and it would reach a conclusion sometime after this year's World Cup in Brazil.

Qatar 2022 organisers said they would be ready to host the World Cup whatever decision was taken.

A statement read: "During the Fifa executive committee meeting in October it was agreed that Fifa would enter a period of consultation on the ideal time of year to host the World Cup in Qatar – with a recommendation expected after the World Cup in Brazil.

"We await the outcome of this consultation period. We will be ready to host the World Cup regardless of the outcome."


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