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FIFA Says 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be Held in Summer

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter speaks during the signing ceremony to finalize the status of Russia as the 2018 FIFA World Cup host country  in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter speaks during the signing ceremony to finalize the status of Russia as the 2018 FIFA World Cup host country in St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)  (AP2011)

Seasons change – and so does Sepp Blatter's mind on when to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The FIFA president said the event will go on, as planned, in the summer – not long after saying the international soccer body might switch the tournament to the winter to avoid the searing heat.

Blatter told the BBC: "Everything is settled for summer. I am not in favor of one or the other.

"What I did say, (is) winter is not only January or February," Blatter added. "I think for the time being the matter is on ice."

Blatter denied that the idea of a winter tournament had originated with him, saying that former Germany great Franz Beckenbauer and UEFA president Michel Platini had come up with it first.

"Who said first that we should play in winter?" Blatter said. "It was Franz Beckenbauer, second Michel Platini and the world footballers' union."

Any decision on moving the dates must first come from the local organizing committee in Qatar, which beat Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to host the tournament.

Blatter also dismissed reports that the tournament could be split between Gulf nations.

"Everything is settled now for summer, and all 64 matches will be played in the territory of Qatar," Blatter said.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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