A decision on the timing of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will not be made before the start of 2015, it has been confirmed.
Fifa had said an announcement could be made later this year but Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa – the head of the task force that is making the decision on the timing of the tournament – explained: "There are a lot of partners that we need to sit and talk with and find the best solution and I am sure this decision will not be taken before the first quarter of 2015."
Salman was speaking on a visit to London, where he also signed a co-operation agreement with the Premier League, whose chief executive Richard Scudamore insisted that lengthy talks were needed with all stakeholders about moving the time of the World Cup.
He said: "Our position is quite clear – Qatar were awarded it, Qatar should hold it.
"If anything is going to change, all we have ever said is 'this is complicated and complex, all factors need looking at and weighed up, can we calm down and look at it properly?'".