FIFA have confirmed the start and end date of the next World Cup, Qatar 2022.
Speaking at a media conference in Moscow, president Gianni Infantino announced that the competition will kick-off on 21st November with the ensuing final scheduled for 18th December, which is a national holiday in Qatar.
The domestic championships have already been informed of this decision, which is a good decision because we can not play football in June and July in Qatar.
The 2022 tournament is being staged in the winter (as far as the northern hemisphere is concerned) so as to not braise the players alive in Qatar’s searing summer heat.
This isn’t exactly *new* news, as FIFA have previously rubber-stamped these start/end dates as long ago as September 2015, back when Ol’ Sepp Blatter was still steering the ship.
Asked how many countries would be competing, Infantino admitted that he’s keen to expand the World Cup from the current 32 teams betwixt then and now.
We will decide whether it’s 48 or 32 teams in the next few months. We must have have discussions with the Qataris and then if there is a possibility with the FIFA Council and stakeholders. Then we will decide calmly and quietly what the decision is.
For now it’s a World Cup with 32 teams but everybody is open-minded and we will have a frank and open debate.
So by Pies’ rudimentary maths, we’ll likely be treated to a sprawling 48-team World Cup which is only 28 days long (four fewer than usual), with the Premier League due to restart just over a week later on Boxing Day before winding down again for one of their newly-introduced ‘winter breaks’ in late January/early February shortly thereafter.
Circus. Total circus. Bollocks to FIFA, forever.