FIFPro, the International Players' union has supported calls to play the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar during winter instead of summer.

Temperatures in Qatar during summer could go as high as 50C and FIFPro said it was pleased with FIFA's open approach to change the tournaments timings due to the heat issue.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter also backed a possible switch to January 2022.

Tijs Tummers, the secretary of FIFPro's technical committee, said, We will have to take a careful look at the international match calendar, but Fifpro does not foresee any insurmountable problems in this regard. 

In Europe, competitive matches will have to be played in August and the second half of May and the first half of June. If you look at what happened last weekend with weather problems in Europe because of heavy snowfall, you could see this as an advantage rather than as a problem. And it might perhaps turn out that the players will be fitter at the start of a winter World Cup than was the case last summer in South Africa.

However, he criticized the decision to award Qatar the hosting rights for the tournament based on it being held in the summer.

It is not sensible in a country with an average temperature of 41C in June and July, a midday temperature of 50C and, above all, extremely high humidity, he said. Tourists are advised not to travel to Qatar in the summer months and inhabitants leave the country en masse during this period.

The summer months in Qatar also do not provide suitable conditions for a festival of football such as the World Cup should be, including for the supporters.

The organisers have guaranteed that the temperature inside the stadiums and at the training centres will be reduced to 27C by means of air-conditioning. That is all well and good, but it obviously does not fit in with ecological thinking, which we expect to be even more widespread by 2022.

On 2nd December, Fifa's executive committee voted for Qatar who beat Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to host the World Cup. The decision was criticized from all corners of the football world most of whom cited the temperature as a reason for the tournament to be held elsewhere.