It has emerged that the potential date clash between the 2022 Qatar World Cup and the XXIV Winter Olympics could spell disaster for winter sports.

Having won the bid to host the football World Cup back in December 2010, the middle-eastern country of Qatar has had to face up to the fact that the climate and weather conditions in this desert country at the height of summer (when the World Cup is traditionally held) may prove impossible for the majority of footballing nations to play in. This tiny nation of just 1.7 million people are considering moving the competition to the winter to ensure the conditions are cooler and more endurable for players and spectators alike. This move would mean the World Cup and the Winter Olympics would be scheduled very close together in the same four or five month period, meaning the more dominant sport of football would no doubt overshadow the Winter Olympics, and snowsports would suffer as a result.

It is yet to be decided what will happen, but the International Ski Federation have spoken out about the move and how it could affect the ski season, ski race calendar and the Winter Olympics in particular. Though a direct clash is unlikely, the skiing authorities have been vocal about their preference for the World Cup to be held in November or December 2022, a full 9 months after the Olympics would be likely to go ahead. A decision on the date of Qatar 20122 is not expected until after the Brazil World Cup next summer so the industry must wait until then to see how our sport will be affected.