A Fifa task force, set up to find the best time of year to stage the tournament, meets for the third and final time in Doha on 24 February when it is expected to make a recommendation to the Fifa executive committee.

On the basis of that recommendation, the final decision on the long-running saga should then be made in Zurich on 20 March.

After the last task force meeting in November, Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke said that the January/February 2022 or November/December 2022 options were the favourites.

However, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said earlier this month that he had received an assurance from Fifa president Sepp Blatter that there would be no overlap with the 2022 Winter Olympics.

That would effectively rule out the January/February option, leaving November/December as the only choice.

However, the European Clubs' Association (ECA) said they believed that May was still on the table.

Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup on the basis that the finals would be staged in June/July using naturally cooled stadia to alleviate the effects of the searing desert heat.

Qatar has continued to say it is happy to stage the World Cup in June/July and that the cooling technology will be ready.

Despite this, there is widespread agreement that the tournament should be held in the cooler months, particularly for the benefit of visiting fans.

ECA's proposal is for the finals to be staged from May 5 to June 4, which it said would cause less disruption to the European club season and would not require the World Cup to be squeezed between club commitments.

It argues that the weather in May would be "acceptable", especially if the stadiums are cooled.

ECA said that, in the worst case, it would be similar to some cities in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup and better than some games played at the World Cups in Mexico in 1986 and the United States in 1994.