BrandArena: Qatar set for November-December World Cup

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Qatar set for November-December World Cup

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar should take place in November and December, according to the recommendations of a FIFA taskforce on Tuesday, with the tournament all but certain to be confirmed by FIFA's executive committee in Zurich next month.

Unconfirmed reports have also revealed that the changes could see the final held on 23rd December.

The outcome of the discussions is also a proposed reduction in the duration of the 2022 World Cup, with the exact dates to be defined in-line with the match schedule and number of venues to be used for the 22nd edition of football’s flagship event.

However, the European Club Association (ECA) and European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) have long argued against a winter World Cup. The two bodies joined forces in December to put forward a staging period of May 5 to June 4, arguing that the model would avoid a “brutal split” of domestic football caused by a winter tournament.

Fifa’s Task Force included representatives of the football community at confederation, member association, league and club level as well as representatives of FIFPro, the ECA, the EPFL, the chief executive of the 2022 World Cup local organising committee, Hassan Al Thawadi and Fifa’s medical experts.

Fifa said that given that the two bidding cities for the 2022 winter Olympics – Almaty and Beijing – pledged recently to host the Games from February 4-20; that the month of Ramadan begins on April 2 in 2022; and that consistently hot conditions prevail from May to September in Qatar, the “only remaining effective option” is the November/December window. Fifa added that for legal reasons, the 22nd World Cup must be played within the calendar year 2022.

Fifa said the task force has discussed various options to lessen the impact of a November/December World Cup on the national and international football calendars. This included a preliminary discussion on whether the traditional timeframe for the preliminary competition will remain or whether the qualifiers window will be moved to staging the final phase in early 2022.

The international calendar for the 2018-2024 period is expeted to be finalised once the dates of the World Cup are confirmed.

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