FIFA recommends Nov.-Dec. playing dates for 2022 World Cup in Qatar
FIFA’s task force recommended that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be played in November and December to avoid the summer heat in the country.
SI.com's Grant Wahl reported last week that the committee planned on moving the World Cup from June and July to the current date recommendation.
A final decision on the dates must be approved by the FIFA executive committee at a March 19-20 meeting in Zurich. FIFA said the proposed dates got full support from all six of its Confederations, as it "aimed to find the most viable solution for all stakeholders."
Soccer’s governing body has wanted to avoid conflict with the 2022 Winter Olympic games, which are tentatively scheduled for Feb. 4-20, 2022.
FIFA said the “only effective option” for hosting the World Cup was in the November-December window, since Ramadan begins in April in 2022 and the hottest temperatures in Qatar are from May to September, but the European soccer leagues want FIFA to change the dates because it interferes with their season.
“The members deliberated over the various options to determine the least impact on the national and international football calendars,” FIFA said. “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 on early 2022."
FIFA is still exploring what to do about the 2021 Confederations Cup, which was originally scheduled to played in Qatar in the summer of 2021. FIFA said it is looking to stage the event in the same timeframe but in a different Asian country.
- Scooby Axson