Bowing to Qatar’s heat, FIFA said it is considering abandoning its customary summer World Cup and scheduling the 2022 edition for the winter. While that eliminates concern over Qatar’s oppressive heat, it unleashes a bevy of new problems.A winter World Cup interferes with the fall to spring slate typical of domestic leagues around the world. Plus the existing schedule for international and qualifying tournaments are specifically tailored to avoid conflict with the sport’s biggest tournament.
Luckily, if it comes to a decision in the near future, FIFA would leave enough time for these institutions to adjust their schedules – a process that is slightly more complicated than it appears. Leagues would probably have to gradually adjust a series of three or four seasons in order to guarantee an offseason and time for qualifying tournaments.
It’s admirable that FIFA took the steps to expand soccer beyond its traditional strongholds, but all the reshuffling it necessitates raises more questions about FIFA’s controversial host decision.
In an ironic twist, America, the country least affected by a winter World Cup, is the same one most upset with FIFA awarding the bid to Qatar.
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