Fifa zoom in on winter dates for Qatar World Cup
The 2022 World Cup looks set to be held in Qatar's winter months after Fifa revealed that the tournament will most likely be held either in the January/February or November/December periods that year.
The global football governing body commissioned a task force to look into the best dates for the 2022 World Cup after the Middle Eastern nation's temperatures in the traditional June/July tournament period were deemed too hot for players.
Fifa has now zoomed in on two time frames with secretary general Jerome Valcke saying: "We are getting closer to narrowing the dates for the Fifa World Cup to two options - January/February 2022 or November/December 2022 - but Fifa has also been asked to consider May 2022.
"We will summarise what we've heard today and provide feedback to all parties in order for them to prepare for the next meeting as we progress towards a final decision."
Regardless of when it is held, the 2022 World Cup looks set to cause a number of problems for the traditional football calendar.
While European clubs would prefer to have the tournament held in April and May to minimise disruption to the league season, Fifa's chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak believes a tournament held between May and September will pose medical concerns for players and fans.
Valcke also appeared to rule out an April date because of the start of Ramadan on April 2, which "would have an impact on a number of players in their preparations".
Europe's governing body Uefa has also declared its preference for the January/February option, which would place Fifa on a collision course with the Winter Olympics.
Sources: PA Sport, Reuters