x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Franz Beckenbauer: Play Qatar World Cup in winter

Franz Beckenbauer says the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be played in January and February, when the temperatures in the Gulf state are more moderate.

BERLIN // Franz Beckenbauer says the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be played in January and February, when the temperatures in the Gulf state are more moderate.

The German football great and Fifa executive committee member said it would be possible to make a one-time change to European league fixtures to allow for the World Cup to be played in winter.

Beckenbauer told Saturday's Bild newspaper this would be a cheaper solution then air conditioning all stadiums. Qatar's summer temperatures top 40C.

"One should think about another solution. In January and February you have comfortable 25 degrees there," Beckenbauer said. "Qatar won the vote and deserves a fair chance as the first host from the Middle East."

Beckenbauer said it was a mistake to choose World Cup hosts for 2018 and 2022 at the same time. Russia will stage the 2018 World Cup, "and it will be a strong host," he said.

Beckenbauer said he was surprised by the early eliminations of Australia as a candidate for the 2022 World Cup and England for the 2018 tournament.

England got the best marks in Fifa's own evaluation report ahead of the vote, but still lost in the first round of voting. Beckenbauer declined to reveal how he voted.

Beckenbauer has said that he intends to step down from Fifa's executive committee in March for family reasons.