Qatar says open to winter World Cup in 2022
Qatar 2022 supreme committee says it's ready to host in summer/winter
Qatar would be willing to host the 2022 World Cup in the European winter despite winning the bid with a controversial summer proposal, local organisers have said.
"Concerning the timing of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we have always reiterated that we bid on the parameters that we would host in the summer of 2022," the Qatar 2022 supreme committee said in a statement.
"Various figures from the world of football have raised preferences for hosting in the winter. We are ready to host the World Cup in summer or winter. Our planning isn't affected either way..."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Thursday that any request to change the timing of the event to cooler months would have to come from Qatar.
Organisers plan to host the tournament in air-conditioned stadiums which will be dismantled after the competition and shipped to developing nations.
Friday's statement said Qatar had committed "considerable resources " to proving that the cooling technology would work in open-air stadiums and training grounds and they would press ahead with developing the systems regardless.
"Our commitment to this is grounded in the legacy it will offer for Qatar and countries with similar climates. It will enable sport to be played 12 months of the year," it added.
"The application of this technology is not limited to stadiums or sports venues. It can be applied in public spaces, so outdoor life can be enjoyed all year round, regardless of climate."