UEFA president Michel Platini has repeated his belief that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be played in the winter.
FIFA's decision to award the quadrennial tournament to Qatar drew much criticism, with opponents of the ruling questioning the wisdom of holding the World Cup in a country with little footballing history and an oppressively hot climate during June and July.
However, Platini believes the European football calendar could be changed to make way for a one-off competition and reiterated that he originally voted for Qatar as the country's bid team outlined a vision of holding the competition during the northern hemisphere's winter months.
"I hope it will be held in winter," Platini told the Evening Standard. "We have to go to Qatar when it is good for everybody to participate. What is better for the fans? Did you see in South Africa: it was freezing and nobody could go anywhere to a fan club or anything. You had to stay in the hotel."
Platini is confident that, with a decade to go until the tournament, FIFA can overcome the logistics of organising a winter World Cup.
"In 10 years we can manage to decide how we can postpone the season for one month," he said. "January is difficult for the World Cup because you have the Winter Olympic Games. If we stop [the European season] from November 2 to December 20, it means, instead of finishing in May, we stop in June. It is not a big problem.
"It is for the good of the World Cup, the most important competition in the world… Before the vote, I told him [the Emir of Qatar], 'I'll vote for Qatar but I want the World Cup in winter'. He wanted my vote and said, 'Of course, yes.' Now he has changed."
Platini used the example of Ukraine and Poland's hosting of Euro 2012 as a tournament that succeeded despite widespread doubts about the nations' abilities to hold the competition.
"We suffered for many years asking ourselves the question whether we should go to Poland and Ukraine," Platini said. "Finally we went there, found a lot of joy, great football, great atmosphere and great pride from the people. It was something wonderful. Beyond our expectations."