In a move that surprised no one, FIFA's executive committee voted Thursday to move games of the 2022 Qatar World Cup from summer to winter to avoid July temperatures that average about 106 degrees in the Middle Eastern country.
Thursday's announcement approves the recommendation of a FIFA task force, which last month called for the tournament to be moved to November and December.
Qatar's selection as a World Cup host in 2010 was controversial from the start because of the weather, which is considered unhealthy for both players and fans. But that will make it the first World Cup to be played winter in the Northern Hemisphere. More important, the change in dates will disrupt most of the world's top domestic leagues, which play from August through May.
FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, also agreed in principle to a compacted 28-day schedule for the 2022 tournament, with the final scheduled for Dec. 18, Qatar's national day.
In other action, the executive committee picked France as the site of the 2019 women's World Cup. South Korea was the other finalist. The 2015 women's World Cup will kick off June 6 in Canada.