The long-mooted “winter World Cup” in 2022 just might happen as speculated.
FIFA has reached a decision to stage the 2022 World Cup in November and December instead of in the summer months, according to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl.
World soccer’s governing body plans to delay the tournament in order to avoid the searing summer heat in host nation Qatar. FIFA will formalize the radical plan in the coming weeks and months.
“Multiple sources say it’s a done deal that World Cup 2022 will take place in November and December of 2022 in Qatar,” Wahl reported Wednesday. “FIFA task force will meet in Doha next week and make that recommendation, and the FIFA Executive Committee is set to make the decision final at its meeting in Zurich next month.
Moving the 2022 World Cup will disrupt Europe’s major soccer leagues, which generally run from August through May. FIFA might be willing to alter its international schedule to accommodate the European leagues.
“The current plan is for only one European club season to be impacted schedule-wise, which the clubs are hoping to achieve by cutting some international dates,” Wahl says. “One key question is what to do about Confederations Cup the year before, but the big World Cup decision has been made. Set your calendars for November-December of 2022.
Rumors of a winter World Cup gathered steam last week when FIFA extended its agreements with United States broadcasters FOX and Telemundo through the 2026 World Cup. Many viewed FIFA’s move as a way of placating FOX and Telemundo, who paid a princely sum for the U.S. broadcast rights (from 2015 to 2022) under the expectation that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would be held during the summer.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@Sportsnet
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