Fifa is to discuss the possibility of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being held in the winter.
Its executive committee will convene on October 3 and 4 to discuss an issue which is already attracting widespread criticism among Europe’s top leagues.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has questioned playing in the searing summer heat in Qatar when temperatures can reach 120 degrees fahrenheit.
“If this World Cup is to become a party for the people, you can’t play football in the summer,” said Blatter. “You can cool down the stadiums, but you can’t cool down the whole country.”
The English Premier League described the proposals as “neither workable nor desirable.” Such a move would cause major disruption to three seasons — the 2021/22 campaign and the ones either side. Lucrative broadcasting contracts would also be affected.
There was controversy in December 2010 after tiny oil-rich nation Qatar beat fellow finalists United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea to host the World Cup.
It will be the first time the world’s most widely viewed sporting event will be held in the Middle East.