Qatar 2022 World Cup Must Be Held In Winter, Says FA Chairman Greg Dyke

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar must inevitably be held in the winter, the new chairman of the FA has said.

Greg Dyke, only two weeks into his job as chairman of the FA, said it was clear holding the tournament in summer temperatures of 40C could be dangerous. The mercury has been known to rise as high as 50C.

Qatar won the bid for the 2022 World Cup, the first time the competition will be held in the Middle East, defeating bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the US.

"I have a lot of sympathy with the Qataris. They bid for it and they got it. I think the Fifa executive probably made a mistake at that time - we have to live with that.

"The question now is, how do we solve this problem?" he said in an interview with Sky News.

Dyke said he was mystified as to why Fifa had not considered issues of the summer heat before deciding to make Qatar hosts.

He said: "They were warned. There was a report that said there could be real health risks if you held it there.

"Even if you can overcome the problem by playing games in air-conditioned stadiums and find places for teams to train, the real concern is for fans.

"Fans turn up in large numbers, often if they haven't got tickets. If you remember the German World Cup, there were large numbers watching from outside the stadium on big screens and it was a great atmosphere.

"How can you do that in 40 degrees? You can't. It is actually dangerous for fans," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday.

"You can't hold it in the summer, so that leaves two choices for Fifa – they have either got to move it to a different location or move it out of the summer into late autumn or winter.

"It is up to Fifa – it will be their decision. Whichever choice is difficult. Everybody in football now knows you can't hold it in Qatar in the summer, it is just that it has taken a long time to get the discussion.

"Either way it probably ends up in litigation and all sorts of disagreements. If you move it away from Qatar, no doubt Qatar followed exactly the process and behaved honourably. They are bound to take action.

"If you move it out of the summer, the countries that were bidding for it at the time will no doubt take action."

Dyke said he sympathised with the anger of the Premier League, having the season disrupted. "This is not a problem of their making. They are sitting there saying you created this, we didn't create this. You knew that the Premier League and other European leagues run at that period," Dyke said.

"At the end we have to face reality and we have to do something. At least now we get 10-11 years to plan."

Richard Scudamore, the Premier League chief executive, said in July that switching the Qatar World Cup to winter would cause chaos for football leagues around the world.