The 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar is a "done deal" to be held in November and December, according to reports.
Despite initially promising to hold the tournament in its traditional summer slot with the help of state of the art cooling-down technology, Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said last year that the event would have to be held in either November – December 2022 or January – February 2023.
Now after years of uncertainty, it appears the time frame of the controversial event has finally been settled.
Sports Illustrated reports that the World Cup will take place in November and December with the decision set to be finalised at the Fifa executive committee's meeting in Zurich next month.
The news will strike a blow to Uefa, the European Club Association (ECA) and the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) who have all pressed to Fifa the importance of keeping the World Cup in summer so as not to conflict with the European domestic season.
The ECA delivered a presentation to the Fifa ExCo last November on the merits of a tournament in April/May which would provide moderate temperatures and only small disruption to the club season.
However, this would have conflicted with Ramadan which begins on 2 April in 2022. In a Fifa statement head of Qatar 2022 Hassan Al Thawadi argued: "For the Middle East, the ideal situation for an all-inclusive World Cup would be for it to be held in the winter."