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Fifa's Jerome Valcke backs winter Qatar World Cup

Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke made his comments on French radio. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire/Press Association Images

If the Premier League were hoping to slow the momentum towards a winter World Cup in Qatar, they’re probably reflecting now that their efforts would be better spent on damage limitation.

Speaking way out of turn Jerome Valcke, the FIFA executive charged with leading a consultation process to decide which are the best dates in 2022 to hold the tournament, has clarified his preference long before that process has been completed.

He says it should be held between November 15th and January 15th when temperatures in the desert state are more acceptable for fans and players.

In reality this means it is likely to be played in November because even FIFA can’t disrupt Christmas.

The Premier League will keep campaigning to keep it in the summer but they know already that is a lost cause.

Their aim now is to persuade FIFA to hold the tournament as close to the beginning of November as possible so the Christmas period, which is so popular and lucrative for them, will be disrupted as little as is possible.