Fifa is to take the first step towards holding the 2022 World Cup in winter after its executive committee agreed to set up a commission to look into moving the tournament.
The meeting in Zurich ended this morning with the world governing body deciding to set up the commission.
The commission’s members will be drawn from across the game and will aim to represent all the major stakeholders, but will not make any decision on timing until after next year’s World Cup.
It is understood there was no discussion about who would head the commission or its members, only that Fifa’s administration would draw up a list of suitable candidates.
Earlier in the day, Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb said Fifa members needed more time to decide whether the World Cup should be staged outside the traditional June-July period.
“I don‘t think there will be a decision today, I don‘t think there should be a decision today,“ Webb, an executive committee member, told reporters before the start of the meeting at Fifa headquarters.
“We definitely have not been presented with enough analysis, we don‘t know what the stakeholders are (thinking), so I think it would be irresponsible for us to take a decision today.“
He added: “(the decision is) very important, very important, it is a historic decision.
“(It) is an opportunity to make sure that the programme for Qatar is correct and in good form, I think today we are going to focus... on how we are going to analyse the situation, what‘s in the best interests, how do we collaborate with various stakeholders,“ said Webb, who is from the Cayman Islands.
“For us, for Concacaf, it‘s about taking our time.“
Qatar was awarded the right to host the competition in December 2010, and the decision was based on its plans to stage the event in June-July using air-conditioned stadiums to combat the heat.
Despite Qatar‘s assurances and insistence that the plan is viable, there has been widespread concern over the health of the players and visiting fans in the searing conditions of the desert summer.