FIFA edged closer to holding the 2022 Qatar World Cup in the winter after it agreed to set up a commission to look into moving the tournament. However, no decision will be made until after next year's World Cup in Brazil.
FIFA member Michel D'Hooghe has claimed it will be 2015 at the earliest before a final decision is made on the dates of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Asked when a FIFA taskforce might make a decision about moving the tournament to the winter, the Belgian said: "At the earliest in 2015. We need some concrete information - this will not be done in two days."
However, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: ""It cannot be later than 2015 - probably the end of 2014."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced that football's governing body will begin a consultation process looking at the impact of moving the tournament to the winter.
Blatter told a news conference in Zurich:
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar. There you have it. We have decided we are going to carry out consultations. These will include all the participants in the World Cup and stakeholders including players, clubs, leagues, national associations confederations and FIFA.
There are also economic partners involved be they from marketing, the media and television and we need to bear in mind our obligations to these partners.
We need to carry out very deep consultations and investigations and show some diplomacy and wisdom.
David Beckham told ITV News today that football's governing body, FIFA, faced a "big decision" over whether to switch the dates of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to avoid the hot summer months. But Beckham said he was confident the Qataris would make the event special, whenever it is held.
FIFA is to take the first step towards holding the 2022 Qatar World Cup in the winter after its executive committee agreed to set up a commission to look into moving the tournament.
It is understood there was no discussion about who would join the commission at today's FIFA summit in Zurich, although Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore is among those expected to be approached.
David Beckham has told ITV News that moving the World Cup to winter is "a big decision" for FIFA. Football's world governing body is expected to take the first step towards moving the tournament by appointing a task force to oversee the process.