‘FIFA decision the best for football’

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa believes FIFA's decision to host the 2022 World Cup in November and December was made with the best interest of football at heart.

Shaikh Salman was present at this week's FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Zurich, where it was decided that the final of the World Cup in Qatar will take place on December 18, the country's national holiday.

The AFC President revealed that the logic behind the decision to move the World Cup away from its usual time slot in June-July was explained. The key point behind the decision was a desire not to stage the tournament during the Qatari summer, and for clash with the Winter Olympics to be avoided.

"We think that hosting the finals in November and December is the best way to attract spectators from all over the world given the ideal climate," said after the meeting.

"We also believe that it will pave the way for a strong technical competition. The tournament will come in the middle of the season for most of the countries and players will be at their peak unlike during the finals played after a long season in summer where the players may be tired and more susceptible to injury."

He added that the decision to hold the event in November-December marks the start of a new stage of the preparations for the World Cup and thanked the support being given by the Asian football fraternity to Qatar.