The FIFA Executive Committee announced on March 19 that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup in November and December of that year with the Final on Dec. 18, the country's National Day.
Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup with the Final on Dec. 18, the country's National Day.
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The FIFA Executive Committee made the announcement via a press release on FIFA's official website on March 19:
"The Executive Committee today confirmed that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be staged in November/December with the Final to be on 18 December 2022, Qatar's National Day.
"In principle, it was agreed that the tournament should be played over a reduced timeframe, for instance 28 days.
"The working group for the international match calendar will meet in due course to finalise the international match calendar for the 2019-2022 cycle."
FIFA's director of communications Walter DiGregorio discussed the issue in greater detail with Press Association Sport (via ESPN FC) on Thursday:
"The ExCo decided today that the World Cup as proposed by the task force will be played in November-December, with the final on the 18th of December.
"Based on the proposal of the task force, we're going to try to play in 28 days. That's the decision in principle. Now we have to see with the international match calendar how this might be possible.
"This is for us, an important step. Finally, we know the end of the tournament. It's a Sunday and, by the way, it's the national day in Qatar, so it fits perfectly. You have enough time to do your Christmas shopping."
According to CNN, FIFA decided to move the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar's winter months "following fears over the intense summer temperatures."
Qatar has been under scrutiny since 2010--the year it was chosen to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup--because of its suitability to host the major sporting event, per CNN. It is the first Middle East country to be given that honor.
Five years ago, Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup mostly on the premise it will be scheduled in June and July. However, the CNN update says "FIFA was forced to backtrack over concerns for the safety of players and spectators."
The Press Association Sport update says UEFA had been lobbying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Final to be played as late as Dec. 23, but FIFA refused, citing logistical issues for both the fans and players due to the Christmas season
In addition, the Dec. 18 Final will make traditional Boxing Day club matches possible in England, per Press Association Sport.
For his part, UEFA president Michel Platini told Press Assocation Sport that the Dec. 18 date is acceptable. However, FIFA must now make the necessary adjustments should four international dates be affected:
"Dec 18 is a good date for the final -- perhaps Dec. 23 would be too late if you are trying to get all the fans back on Dec. 24. Dec. 18 is fine for UEFA -- we can accommodate any changes to the Champions League.
"But FIFA must now protect the international dates for the national associations -- there are four international matches that could be affected and those are the lifeblood for the national associations.
"FIFA must look at the international calendar and make sure those dates are protected for the national associations."
A FIFA task force led by Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa recommended the 2022 FIFA World Cup be held in November and December. The group ruled out May as a possible month for the event because only the Europeans were strongly for it. Sheikh Salman told Press Association Sport everybody involved in the process has to have a say in the matter and "not just the Europeans."
January was also out of the question as that is the month when the 2022 Winter Olympics will be held, per Press Association Sport.
Hassan Al Thawadi, head of Qatar's organizing committee for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, told Press Association Sport that Qatar was ready to host the event "at any point in time."
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