Football: Blatter says mistake to pick Qatar for 2022 World Cup

Fifa President Sepp Blatter holding up the name of Qatar during the official announcement of the 2022 World Cup host country at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich on Dec 2, 2010. Blatter has said it was a mistake to choose Qatar to host the 20
Fifa President Sepp Blatter holding up the name of Qatar during the official announcement of the 2022 World Cup host country at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich on Dec 2, 2010. Blatter has said it was a mistake to choose Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup because of the country's sweltering summer-time climate. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

LAUSANNE (AFP) - Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said it was a mistake to choose Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup because of the country's sweltering summer-time climate.

When asked if it was a mistake choosing the Middle East country because of its high temperatures during the summer months, Blatter said in an interview Thursday with Swiss RTS station: "Yes, of course.

"You know, everyone makes mistakes in life," he added.

The average temperature tops 40 deg C in June and July, when World Cup finals usually take place.

"The Qatar technical report ruled that it was too hot in the summer, but the (Fifa's) executive committee, with a large majority, decided to play in Qatar," said Blatter.

In these circumstances, "it is more than likely" that the 2022 World Cup will be played in winter, said Blatter, who has repeatedly expressed his desire to move the tournament to a more appropriate date.

Temperatures in the winter in Qatar are around 25 deg C.

"The best time to play is at the end of the year. You must remain realistic... we must play in winter at the end of the year," he added.

Fifa took the controversial decision to award Qatar the World Cup in December 2010.