The FIFA task force looking into dates for the Qatar World Cup has recommended a shorter tournament to be staged in November and December 2022, the head of the Asian Football Confederation told reporters on Tuesday.
Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa said all options would be reviewed at the FIFA meeting next month, when the recommendation is expected to be ratified by the executive committee of world soccer's governing body.
Should Fifa act on its recommendations, the tournament would have major implications on the English Premier League campaign, which runs from August to May.
The debate over what time of year the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be played is heading winter's way. A meeting tomorrow is likely to propose November and December as the preferred months. That's not what English and Scottish football bosses want.
ITV News sports editor Steve Scott reports from Qatar:
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Football's world governing body FIFA said the controversial report into the bidding for the Russia and Qatar World Cups will be published after all although the tournaments will still take place as planned.
ITV News' Sports Correspondent Ian Payne reports.
Lord Coe has told ITV that the England 2018 World Cup bidding team were right to look into opposing bids.
Having lost out to Russia for the tournament in 2018, the bid team will reportedly be questioned for creating a dossier on opponents.
The former athlete said the London 2012 bid, which he led, was successful thanks to the level of research they did, stating that they won the Olympics as the team 'knew what the landscape looked like'.
The Serious Fraud Office has reportedly confirmed it is actively seeking evidence related to Fifa's World Cup corruption probe and is inviting whistleblowers to come forward.
According to letters seen by The Daily Telegraph, the SFO said it was pursuing "every reasonable line of inquiry" to decide whether it can open an investigation into the allegations of unlawful conduct during the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.
Fifa, which faced worldwide criticism for its handling of an inquiry into the bids, last week announced it has lodged a criminal complaint with the Swiss attorney general regarding "possible misconduct of individual persons" in connection with the bids.
Regarding the potential for a Serious Fraud Office inquiry, a spokesperson confirmed to ITV News:
There is no information which has so far been brought to the SFO’s attention that shows that the UK criminal courts would accept jurisdiction. We continue to monitor the situation and to keep the jurisdictional position under review.
The identities of the individuals who have been reported to the attorney general by FIFA have not been disclosed.
Eckert's findings released last week did name two people, both former FIFA ethics committee members, as having contravened rules: Jack Warner from Trinidad and Tobago, who resigned in disgrace in 2011, and Mohamed Bin Hammam, the former Asian confederation president from Qatar who was banned for life by FIFA.
FIFA said it could not disclose whether Warner and Bin Hammam were those who had been reported to the attorney general.
Eckert's findings had criticised the England 2018 bid for pandering to Warner's wishes but there is no suggestion the England bid has been reported to the Swiss prosecutors.
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