A FIFA taskforce has recommended end-November/end-December as the most viable period for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, it announced on Tuesday.
Following a six-month consultation process, the taskforce decided that the tournament be shifted from its usual months of June-July due to the extreme summer conditions in the Gulf state.
The members deliberated over various options to determine the least impact on the national and international football calendars, a statement said.
“The analysis aimed to find the most viable solution for all stakeholders, covering the likely and possible impacts of conditions on players, staff and fans, as well as the knock-on effect for domestic leagues,” it said.
“Since the 2022 Winter Olympics is scheduled to place during February, the month of Ramadan begins on April 2 in 2022, and consistently hot conditions prevail from May to September in Qatar, the only remaining effective option is the November/December window.”
A winter schedule is expected to clash with European league matches, but the FIFA taskforce said that the proposed event dates have the full support of all six confederations.
The proposal will now be discussed at the next meeting of the FIFA executive committee, scheduled to take place in Zurich on March 19 and 20, 2015. The date will be confirmed in due course, FIFA said.
“We are very pleased that, after careful consideration of the various opinions and detailed discussions with all stakeholders, we have identified what we believe to be the best solution for the 2018-2024 international match calendar and football in general,” said Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, chairman of the taskforce and FIFA executive committee member.
“It was a challenging task and I want to thank all members of the football community for their productive input and constructiveness in helping to find a solution that we believe can work for everyone.”
The taskforce also proposed reducing competition days with the exact dates to be defined in-line with the match schedule and number of venues to be used for the event.
It said it was also exploring the option of potentially relocating the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup to Qatar to serve as the operational test event for Qatar in November/December 2021.
Hassan Al Thawadi, head of the Qatar 2022 World Cup organising committee, told BBC Sport that the country is “ready to comply” with the “football community’s decision”.
He added: “Whatever decision gets taken, we are ready to host it at any point in time.”