Soccer’s World Cup traditionally takes place in June and July every four years. But it has been rumored for months that FIFA was considering moving the dates for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar because it would be far too hot for games to take place. Well, now we have confirmation that the tournament will indeed be moved away from the summer.
On Wednesday, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke seemed to confirm that the tournament would not take place during the summer. In an interview with Radio France, Valcke suggested that the finals would be played between mid-November and mid-January.
He had the following to say about the potential dates:
“The dates for the World Cup (in Qatar) will not be June-July. To be honest, I think it will be held between November 15 and January 15 at the latest.
“If you play between November 15 and the end of December that’s the time when the weather conditions are the best, when you can play in temperatures equivalent to a warm spring season in Europe, averaging 25 degrees (Celsius). That would be perfect for playing football.”
FIFA president Sepp Blatter had previously claimed that having the World Cup in the summer in the Middle East would be a bad idea. Pretty much everyone in the world felt the same way when Qatar was inexplicably named as the host for the 2022 tournament.
But having the tournament during the winter will not come without consequences. Club football will be hugely impacted, as many of the top players in the world will have to leave their club teams in the middle of their seasons to represent their countries.
Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore told Sky Sports News in August that it would be “nigh-on impossible” to move the tournament to the winter because of the impact on club football. Now it appears club teams will have to find a way to deal with it.