- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DOHA, QATAR (AP) - Qatar’s ruler wants to determine his country’s views on holding the 2022 World Cup in winter to avoid the intense summer heat.

The statement Wednesday by Qatari emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani suggests there’s still an option to shift the tournament. FIFA President Sepp Blatter had said this month that it will be played in the summer, when temperatures often surpass 113 degrees.

“We will ask the people what they want,” the emir said after talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron. He did not elaborate on when or how he would seek their views.

Qatar was the surprise winner to host the 2022 tournament, beating out bids from the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea in December. Qatar’s proposal called for air-conditioned stadiums and fan areas.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said he knew little about the sport.

“I do not know the rules,” he said. “I like sport, of course, but I am not involved in sport.”

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