Winter sports urged to unite to oppose World Cup date change

PLANS to reschedule the 2022 football World Cup face fresh hostility after the international skiing federation (FIS) called on all winter sports to unite in opposition to a switch away from the tournament’s traditional summer slot.

Qatar has been named host, though concern over the intense heat during summer – the average temperature in July is 42 degrees celsius – has prompted world governing body Fifa to set up a task force charged with assessing possibilities of playing at an alternative time of year. They will commence their work at the conclusion of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

However, the FIS feels a move to winter would be seriously detrimental to other sports, particularly with the 24th Winter Olympics due to take place in the same year.

“FIS will submit a proposal to the other six international winter sports federations to sign a resolution against organizing the Fifa World Cup during the winter sports season in 2022,” it said in a statement.

The other winter sports federations represent biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge and skating.

Potential hosts for the 2022 Winter Olympics must file their application by March 2014 to the International Olympic Committee.

The only city to formally submit its bid to the IOC so far is Almaty in Kazakhstan. A decision will be made in July 2015.