Fifa always had the option of switching the 2022 World Cup to November/December and has done nothing wrong in doing so, President Sepp Blatter said on 20 March.

Football's governing body confirmed the tournament in seven years, which will be played in Qatar, will take place during the winter with the final on 18 December.

Qatar was originally awarded the event on the basis it would host it during the World Cup's traditional summer time slot of June and July. But because of high temperatures in those months, Fifa was left with little choice but to switch the dates, which will wreak havoc with European football schedules.

Despite facing fierce criticism, Blatter defended his organisation at a news conference after a two-day meeting of Fifa's executive committee in Zurich.

"It is said that in principal that the World Cup should be played in June/July, and it is also said in the same document which has been signed by everybody, by both parties it has been signed, anyway that if something happened, the Fifa executive committee can change the venue of the World Cup, can take away the rights to organise the World Cup; everything we can do. So, we can also say that we play in winter," Blatter told reporters.

When asked directly if he should apologise, Blatter said: "If you like that I apologise to you, I do it."

Russia World Cup also under scrutiny

The World Cup in Russia in 2018 is also under the spotlight because of the situation in Ukraine, and poor relations between the West and Moscow.

But Blatter dismissed calls made by some politicians for teams to boycott the tournament and said such protests never worked.

His comments came after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on 16 March called on his allies on to boycott the tournament if Russia did not pull its troops out of his country's territory.

"In my opinion the World Cup in Russia will be able to stabilise all the situation that in this region of Europe because it is part of Europe, all this region is suffering now. I am sure that football is stronger than any other movement," he said.

"When I am looking on the geopolitical map today and I am looking towards Afghanistan, I am looking towards Iraq, towards Lebanon, towards Syria, towards Palestine. In all these countries where they have been or still are belligerent activities football is played. Women's football is played, men's football is played."