FIFA president Sepp Blatter said awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar may have been "a mistake" due to the searing summer heat in the Arab state.
He said it was "not rational" to play the tournament in June or July when temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius.
Calls to move the World Cup to the winter have caused controversy as it would mean major disruption to domestic leagues in Europe, including the Premier League.
Although admitting Qatar may have been "a mistake", Blatter told insideworldfootball.com: "On the other hand, you must also consider political and geo-political realities.
"The World Cup is FIFA's biggest, if not only, global event. Who are we, the Europeans, to demand that this event has to cater to the needs of 800 million Europeans above all?
"I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world any more, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will on to others in far away places."