Khalifa football stadium in Doha, Qatar
Nadine Rupp/Getty Images
By SI Wire
November 03, 2014

Despite many within FIFA favoring playing the 2022 World Cup in November and December, a number of soccer officials from around the world feel the tournament should be played in January and February, the BBC reported on Monday morning.

Officials were meeting on Monday in Zurich, Switzerland, to discuss possible dates for the tournament. The meeting's aim was to reach a consensus around a possible date rather than a final decision, according to the BBC. 

If January and February are chosen, the tournament would potentially conflict with the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

FIFA has insisted that the tournament's matches cannot take place during June and July, summer months during which the Persian Gulf state experiences extremely hot temperatures.

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Though many leagues would prefer to avoid long breaks during their seasons, the most popular option at the moment among many within FIFA is to hold the tournament during November and December of that year. But officials from around the world expressed openness to the January-February time slot, with many even favoring the latter, according to the BBC. 

Some officials have suggested shifting the gameplay schedule as well, with matches starting as late as 1 a.m. and ending at 3:30 am.

The November-December plan is thought to be favored by English clubs, as it would cause minimal disruption to the regular season and allow players to return home by the end of December.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore and Football Association general secretary Alex Horn are both attending the meeting.

A plan under consideration from some European clubs would shift the World Cup to an April and May schedule. However, their plan is complicated by a requirement that domestic cup competitions be completed after the World Cup in June.

The April-May schedule would also conflict with the Ramadan -- Islam's holy month -- which would occur during April and May 2022, as well.

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UEFA reportedly is open to hosting the tournament in January and February 2023.

The organization's reasoning is that those dates work well with the winter break many teams are given and would cause the least disturbance to the Champions League.

Many have called for FIFA to strip Qatar of the World Cup due to unsuitable playing conditions, alleged bribery in the bidding process and poor treatment of migrant workers in the country. 

FIFA recently completed an investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which has been marred by allegations of corruption.

A recommendation is to be made to FIFA's executive committee by March of next year.

- Christopher Woody

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