Michel Platini says the 2022 World Cup in Qatar must be held during the winter to protect the players and fans from the searing desert heat.
Temperatures can exceed 40 degrees in the summer in the middle-eastern country, compared to a more comfortable 17 degrees in the winter.
The finals were controversially awarded to Qatar two years ago with Platini, the UEFA president, one of those who voted in their favour.
‘I am in favour of Qatar under two conditions,’ the former French star told Bild newspaper.
‘Because of the heat the World Cup will need to be held in the winter.
‘With over 40 degrees, playing football is impossible and for fans it would also be unbearable.
‘Also, the neighbouring emirates must be included so that the World Cup is staged throughout the entire region.’
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait are among the neighbouring countries that could be considered.
Platini’s proposals will cause chaos to the regular football calendar, with six or seven weeks of disruption to domestic leagues.