• Decision to be taken in principle in early October
• Christmas programme in UK unlikely to be affected
The Fifa general secretary, Jérôme Valcke, has ruled out paying compensation to European leagues or broadcasters affected by moving the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to the winter months.
In advance of a vote by the Fifa executive committee in Zurich on 3-4 October that is expected to decide on the move in principle and will have huge ramifications for the game across Europe, Valcke said Fifa would not provide compensation to the club game nor to its commercial partners. "No, no, no. Compensation is a word you should never use," he said.
The Premier League has been resolute in its belief that either the decision to host the World Cup in Qatar should be revisited or the event must be held in the summer, despite temperatures that can reach 50C.
On Tuesday the Association of European Professional Leagues urged caution and said "no hasty decision" should be made by Fifa next month. It raised a string of potential commercial, sporting and logistical issues that would be thrown up by the proposed shift, which would also affect the seasons either side of the 2021-22 campaign.
But Valcke said it is almost inevitable that the Fifa executive committee would vote for the change, which is backed by the president, Sepp Blatter. "I am sure that we will all come to an agreement that playing in summer presents some challenges and that winter is a better period to have the World Cup and that all the parties will agree on the date and the change of the calendar," said Valcke.
"My role is to make sure that we succeed and reach an agreement with all the different stakeholders." He said it was important to have an agreement "in principle" as soon as possible so the consultation process could begin.
"As long as we don't have a decision in principle how can you ask the administration of Fifa to work on what are the consequences of moving the World Cup?" said Valcke, who is in Buenos Aires with Blatter for the International Olympic Committee congress.
"So it makes sense that the decision is in principle it should be moved to winter for obvious reasons."
The Fifa general secretary reiterated that there is no chance of the tournament being taken from Qatar and that Fifa is confident in its legal position if it were moved to winter.
Once the decision is taken in principle, Valcke said: "We would then ask the different people to work with the different stakeholders on the international calendar and to see the consequences of moving the World Cup from here to another period on the dates for the leagues, the clubs and international match-days, etc."
Valcke is understood to have met the Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, who has been vocal in his opposition to any move, at an Italian restaurant in Zurich last week. The Premier League is unlikely to soften its position but could become increasingly isolated given that the European Club Association vice-president Umberto Gandini this week said the move was probably inevitable and clubs would back it provided it is a "one-off".
Valcke said there was no threat to the traditional Christmas programme in England because the tournament would take in place in November and December. "We are not talking about taking Christmas or New Year away. Christmas is safe. The World Cup will not be played between 24 December and 1 January, so that will mean Boxing Day is safe."