The 2022 World Cup in Qatar should take place in November and December, according to the recommendations of a FIFA taskforce, with the tournament all but certain to be confirmed by FIFA's executive committee in Zurich next month.
Unconfirmed reports have also revealed that the changes could see the final held on 23rd December.
Summer temperatures in Qatar can exceed 40 celsius while those in November to December drop to the mid-20s. Taskforce chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa also recommended that the 2022 tournament should be shortened by a few days.
There are, however, no plans to reduce the size of the tournament from 32 teams or 64 matches.
A number of options had been discussed but the November and December dates were felt to be the only viable option because of a number of reasons including the 2022 Winter Olympics in February, Ramadan in April and consistently hot conditions from May to September.
As a result, November and December has been recommended as the only remaining effective option.
A winter tournament will cause disruption to many domestic competitions around the world, particularly in Europe.
The FIFA statement said: “The analysis aimed to find the most viable solution for all stakeholders, covering the likely and possible impacts of conditions on players, staff and fans, as well as the knock-on effect for domestic leagues. The representatives of the leagues once again emphasised the impact that a November/December tournament would have on their respective calendars.”
Sheikh Salman added: "We are very pleased that, after careful consideration of the various opinions and detailed discussions with all stakeholders, we have identified what we believe to be the best solution for the 2018-2024 international match calendar and football in general.
"It was a challenging task and I want to thank all members of the football community for their productive input and constructiveness in helping to find a solution that we believe can work for everyone."