The 2022 World Cup in Qatar could be moved to winter if medical reports show summer temperatures in Qatar would be dangerously high, a senior Fifa official has admitted.
Football's world governing body has always maintained that Qatar would have to make the request to move the tournament.
But speaking at the meeting of the International Football Association Board - the body that governs the laws of football - in Edinburgh, general secretary Jerome Valcke became the first senior Fifa official to say the event could be moved if they receive strong medical advice that it needs to do so.
He said: "Maybe the Fifa Exco [executive committee] will say based on medical reports or whatever: 'We really have to look at playing the World Cup not in summer but in winter.'"
Can Qatar host a summer World Cup?
The idea to move the competition away from its traditional start date in June - when temperatures in the Middle East can reach 50C - has previously been backed by Uefa leader Michel Platini and world footballers' union FIFPro.
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has given varying views on the issue. In January 2011 he said he expected the competition to begin in the winter, but he then backtracked on that comment a month later.
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