Qatar plans 2020 WCup in summer, but flexible
LONDON (AP) — Qatar organizers are pushing ahead with plans to hold the 2022 World Cup in the summer, although they're willing to host in the winter.
UEFA President Michel Platini has led calls to play the tournament in the cooler winter months. FIFA's ruling body also could move the dates because of medical concerns about the desert heat.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Thursday that Qatar would have to request a shift to winter — and the organizers responded that they are "committed to delivering on the promises we made to FIFA" before winning the vote in 2010.
"Our bid was based on the sole intent of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the summer," the Doha-based organizing committee said Friday in a statement.
"Various figures from the world of football have raised preferences for hosting in the winter," the organizers said. "We are ready to host the World Cup in summer or winter. Our planning isn't affected either way, as we are committed to the cooling technologies."
Air-conditioned stadiums to beat the 122-degree heat in June and July were a defining theme of Qatar's campaign to take the World Cup to the Middle East for the first time.
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