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FIFA Confirms Final Dates for Qatar's 2022 World Cup, Leaves Door Open for 48 Teams

The World Cup will be moved to the winter months for the 2022 edition, and the dates are confirmed for the opening match and final in Qatar.
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FIFA have confirmed that the 2022 World Cup will take place over the months of November and December.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirmed that the tournament will begin on November 21, with the final being played on December 18.

The president, who was elected to replace Sepp Blatter in 2016, revealed that 'leagues around the world have been informed already' and stressed FIFA's strict position on this announcement, by adding that 'of course they will have to adapt.'

During the World Cup closing press conference in Moscow, Infantino revealed that FIFA are yet to decide the number of teams that will compete at the 2022 World Cup, whether there will be 48 or 32 sides participating.

“For now it’s 32, but a decision has not been taken yet," Infantino replied abruptly when asked about the make up of the Qatar tournament.

Many people have been pleasantly surprised by the success of VAR over the course of the tournament this summer, and it was something that Infantino was keen to acknowledge.

“The results are extremely clear and extremely positive...There were over 140 checks, there were 19 reviews in the 62 matches. There were 16 decisions changed from being wrong to being right. This is progress," he said.

“VAR is cleaning football. Making it more honest. Making it transparent… 95% of the checks were already correct, after the introduction of VAR we increased to 99.32% correct.”

He added: “You will never again see a goal scored in a offside position… Either you’re offside or you’re not.

“Also, look at the amount of violent conduct there have been. There have been zero in this World Cup, because they know people will spot it.”