Fifa backtracks on Valcke's comments that 2022 World Cup won't be played in summer

Qatari Saud al-Muhanadi (centre left), secretary general of the Qatar Football Federation, and Fifa representative international coach Gabriel Calderon (centre right) stand next to the Fifa World Cup trophy following its arrival in Doha, on Dec 12, 2
Qatari Saud al-Muhanadi (centre left), secretary general of the Qatar Football Federation, and Fifa representative international coach Gabriel Calderon (centre right) stand next to the Fifa World Cup trophy following its arrival in Doha, on Dec 12, 2013. An announcement from Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would not be played in the summer created yet more controversy around the Finals on Wednesday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - An announcement from Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would not be played in the summer created yet more controversy around the Finals on Wednesday.

It led to a shocked response from Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce who said that only the world governing body's executive committee could decide when the World Cup would be played.

In a later statement, Fifa backtracked on Valcke's comments, which came in an interview with radio station France Inter.

Valcke had said: "The dates of the World Cup will not be in June or July. I think it will be played between Nov 15 and Jan 15 at the latest.

"If you play between Nov 15 and, let's say, the end of December, it's the time when the weather is the most favourable.

"You play with a temperature equivalent to that of a rather hot spring in Europe, you play with a temperature of 25 deg (Celsius), which is perfect to play football."

The average temperature in the summer months in Qatar can be around 35 deg C and 45 deg C.

In a subsequent statement, Fifa said Valcke was giving "his view" and insisted that "no decision will be taken before the upcoming World Cup Brazil as agreed by the Fifa Executive Committee".