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.
Approximately 7.65 million people watched the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, making it the most-viewed qualifying game in American soccer history.
ESPN announced that the game, which ended in a 0-0 draw at the Azteca, doubled the highest previous rating for a World Cup qualifier, registering a 1.4 rating (which translates to about 2.85 million viewers).
The previous record for a World Cup qualifier shown on an ESPN network was the 2009 matchup between the same countries, which drew a 0.7 rating (about 1,191,000 viewers).
Meanwhile, UniMas recorded an audience of 4.8 million for the Spanish-language broadcast in the United States – the highest ever recorded by the network for any broadcast.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s troops now stand in third place in the North, Central America and Caribbean hexagonal group with four points behind surprise early leaders Panama, who have five. Mexico lie in fifth place with three points.
Next up for the United States is an away tie to Jamaica on June 7.