2022 World Cup in Qatar must be played in winter - Fifa medic

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar must switch to winter, according to Fifa's own medical chief.

Michel D'Hooghe, the chairman of the Fifa's medical committee, will advise that the risks posed to supporters by extreme heat are too great.

President Sepp Blatter already supports a move away from the traditional summer staging, when temperatures can reach as high as 50C in Qatar.

"The World Cup is about more than games and players," said D'Hooghe.

Qatar weather

Qatar has a hot desert climate with daytime temperatures usually peaking at 42 degrees Celsius during June and July. It doesn't tend get much cooler overnight as temperatures typically don't fall below 30 degrees.

The climate during November and December is similar to that of a European summer where the average daytime temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius with the chance of a little rain at times too.

"I am sure the Qataris have the technical skill to organise a tournament where teams could play and train in a stable, acceptable temperature, but it's about the fans.

"They will need to travel from venue to venue and I think it's not a good idea for them to do that in temperatures of 47C or more."

The Premier League has opposed a proposed move to November or December 2022, which would disrupt the English domestic season.

However, the European Club Association, which represents some of the continent's top teams, has said that it is "open" to the switch, while the Football Association's chairman Greg Dyke has said that a summer tournament would be "impossible" in the Middle East.

Hassan al-Thawadi, the head of Qatar's 2022 bid, has rejected suggestions that the tournament should be moved to another host nation rather than be rescheduled.

"I'd like to assure everybody that it is not an impossibility to host the World Cup in Qatar in the summer," he told BBC Sport earlier in September.

"A summer World Cup is what we bid for - it's the original plan - and we are going for it and we are moving ahead with it."

Fifa's executive committee is expected to agree in principle to move the World Cup to the winter when they meet in early October before starting a six-month exercise to work out how it will affect the international calendar and domestic leagues.