Dear Qatar: Can We Have the World Cup in Winter?

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A couple of weeks ago, FIFA surprised the world by granting Qatar the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup. The news was met with some dismay, despite Qatari promises to devise outdoor air conditioning. Players' union FIFPro, though, has proposed a change that might make the idea of a Qatar World Cup slightly more palatable: Have it in the winter, instead of the summer.

Traditionally, World Cups occur in June and July. But Tijs Tummers, the secretary of FIFPro's technical committee, recently pointed out that the average temperature in Qatar during these months is 105 degrees Fahrenheit, and that at midday it can get as high as 122 degrees. Tummers also cited "extremely high humidity" and noted that "tourists are advised not to travel to Qatar in the summer months and inhabitants leave the country en masse during this period."

A winter World Cup, though, would presumably be more pleasant for players and fans alike. Sepp Blatter, the improbably named president of FIFA, has indicated that he's open to the idea of moving the tournament to January 2022. This is sort of like when you were in college, and it was the first warm day of spring, and someone asked the professor, "Can we have class outside today?" But in reverse.

Adam Fusfeld at Business Insider points out that the solution's not perfect: "A winter World Cup interferes with the fall to spring slate typical of domestic leagues around the world." Fusfeld adds that "if it comes to a decision in the near future, FIFA would leave enough time for these institutions to adjust their schedules," but notes that this is "a process that is slightly more complicated than it appears."

Man, just move it to the Metrodome! No one's worried about that place getting overheated.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.