FIFA has taken steps to cool the growing animosity toward a winter World Cup. Nearly two weeks after FIFA president Sepp Blatter told Qatari media has expected the 2022 World Cup to be staged in winter, the world's governing body has affirmed that no plans are in place for a winter World Cup, a statement that conveniently fails to contradict Blatter's assertions.
On the organization's web site today, FIFA issued a two-sentence statement addressing "media reports." The post said there are no current plans to change the FIFA calendar, and any proposed chance would have to be initiated by the Qataris:
At this stage there are no concrete plans to change the international match calendar.
Any potential move of the 2022 FIFA World Cup from a summer to a winter period would have to be initiated by the football association of Qatar and would have to be presented to the FIFA Executive Committee.
On January 7, Sepp Blatter, while in Qatar for the start of the Asian Cup, cited protecting players as a main motivator for moving the 2022 event away from its traditional summer schedule. Those comments were met with derision from some football press, with more controversial opinion questioning whether the 2022 World Cup would have been awarded to Qatar had such plans been presented with the original bid.