FIFA President Sepp Blatter raised fresh doubts about the safety of playing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in summertime, saying supporters could struggle to cope with the heat outside stadiums.
There have been growing calls to move the tournament to the winter to avoid the sweltering desert heat which is expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in June and July. UEFA President Michel Platini is one of those requesting the switch and Blatter understands why.
"It has been presented in the bid documents and in the presentation they made here in Zurich that there is a system that the stadia can be presented in, let's say, an atmosphere where it will not be too hot, too warm. But the World Cup is not only played in the stadia," Blatter said. "The World Cup is also outside of the stadia so it is a question mark."
Blatter said a final decision on a summer or winter World Cup needed to be taken after the 2014 final in Brazil.
In a wide-ranging interview on "Special Report" broadcast Monday on Sky Sports News, football's most powerful man confirmed he would be standing down in 2015 from the position he has held since 1998.
He says there is a "good possibility" Platini will be his successor but remains unconvinced that the former France midfielder is keen on the role.
"I am not so sure that he is willing to go into the position as the FIFA president," Blatter said. "He has not declared officially but he could, would, should be a good successor always and ever."
Blatter also reiterated his belief in introducing points deductions for incidents of racist abuse, which he believes is the one of the biggest scourges in football along with match-fixing.
"Our committee at FIFA has given a sentence to play without spectators — this is one of the solutions, (but) I think a more radical solution would be deduction of points," Blatter said. "Deduction of points would have a better impact on that than any other sanction.
"I think we can never do enough to eradicate all the racism in football," added Blatter, who said he was thinking of holding a summit "with all the actors concerning discrimination and racism."
Blatter said he envisages becoming a radio commentator, providing analysis of football matches, once his career with FIFA has finished.
- As part of Terras end of the year coverage, we provide you some content that highlights the best and worst of the year, from the biggest scandals to the most beautiful women. Here we take a look back at the greatest players never to win a World Cup. Photo: Especial November 30, 2012
- Alfredo di Stefano: Considered one of the best players in history. With him, Real Madrid became kind of Spain and Europe. Despite playing for both the Argentinean and Spanish national team, he never played in a World Cup due to injuries. Photo: Getty July 29, 2011
- George Best, of North Ireland, played with Manchester United where he became a legend. His personal life and excess left him out of consideration for any World Cup (especially when his team qualified in 1982). Photo: AP July 29, 2011
- Bernd Schuster, who played for Barcelon aand Real Madrid was one of the best German players in his time but never participated in a World Cup. Photo: AP July 29, 2011
- George Weah was one of the best African players in history. Unfortunately, his home country of Liberia has never qualified for a World Cup. Photo: AP July 29, 2011
- Ryan Giggs, the symbol of Manchester United for over a decade, is originally from Wales. Many have attempted to lure him to England, but he has always refused. Photo: AP July 29, 2011
Eric Cantona was a victim of poor luck. When he was living his best moment, France failed to qualify for the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. His character and problems on and off the field left him out consideration for the 1998 team that would win the trophy. Photo: AP July 29, 2011
- England's Duncan Edwards was a superb left winger. Edwards died in 1958 n the Manchester United Munich plane crash before he could go to the World Cup. Photo: Getty Images November 30, 2012
- David Ginola was one of the best French players of the 1990's, shining with George Weah in PSG. A mistake from him cost France qualification to the 1994 World Cup and he was never called up again. Photo: Getty Images November 30, 2012
- Fine, creative and the 'master', Jari Litman won everything with Ajax; Unfortunately, being form Finland cost him an appearance in the World Cup. Photo: Getty Images November 30, 2012
Ian Rush was a prolific Welsh scorer for Liverpool in the 1980's. He is the third top scorer for the team in its history, but he was never able to advance to the World Cup with his come country. Photo: Getty Images November 30, 2012