Former Socceroo Mark Schwarzer says it will take two or three players to “drop dead” before Fifa bans games being played in extreme heat.
The Chelsea goalkeeper’s comments add an ominous edge to the debate about Qatar’s suitability to host the 2022 World Cup in summer.
But Schwarzer, who has played his fair share of qualifiers in the Middle East, believes Fifa is already dragging the chain when it comes to putting players lives at risk during inferno-like conditions.
"Fifa make a lot of decisions on where you play games and what time of year you play, and we talk about the World Cup being hosted in Qatar in 2022 asking whether it can be held in June," Schwarzer told the Leaders Sport Business Summit in London Goal.com reported.
"People complain about it being too hot. I've played World Cup qualifiers there in June, and it is hot. I played a game in Oman in June one year and it was 43 degrees.
"So why are we banning a World Cup at that time of year when we've got World Cup qualifiers at that time of year? You either ban both of them or you don't.
"Something needs to happen to stop games at that time of year. It is just ridiculous, and it will only happen once probably not just one person, but two or three people drop dead.
"That's unfortunate, but that's probably the only way they will do anything. It's ridiculous, it really is ridiculous to be playing at that time of year and I don't know why there's even a debate."
His comments come as Australia gears up to take on the heat as well as UAE and Qatar in two friendlies over the coming days.
Closer to home A-League outfit Perth Glory has waged a campaign against early afternoon starts at nib Stadium where conditions can be oppressive for players and temperatures routinely reach mid-30s in the height of summer.
Meanwhile Schwarzer also called on football’s governing body to publish Michael Garcia's report into corruption surrounding the 2022 World Cup bidding process.
Australia put its hand up for the tournament, but in a major embarrassment for local organisers received just one vote.
"I find it really, really disappointing to see a global body that has so little trust globally, from anyone – even the members of the game," Schwarzer said.
"A committee went out there (to Qatar) and said it was not safe to play, yet they were still awarded it.
"And now there's this Garcia report. Why conduct a report if you are not going to make it open? If you want trust in Fifa, surely you should open the report and say 'here it is'.
"Open it up to the public, open it up to everyone so we can see how Fifa is run. Then we can change it. It is such a shame to see football being run how it’s being run, with so little trust."comments