FIFA has announced the final of the troubled 2022 World Cup will be held on December 18 in Qatar.
It will be the first World Cup held in the northern hemisphere winter. The decision ended a torturous, long-winded debate over whether players could handle scorching temperatures if the tournament was to be played in a northern summer timeslot.
It was almost defeated by a bid to have the grand final held on December 23, but England and other countries strongly objected due to clashes with traditional domestic ties.
“The final will be on December 18. It is a Sunday and it is also the national day of Qatar, so it fits perfectly,” FIFA’s communications chief Walter de Gregorio told reporters.
“In principle we try to play in 28 days. The next step will be to have different talks, especially (on) the international calendar.”
Now all FIFA and Qatar officials have to do is convince European clubs that it won’t disrupt their rich domestic seasons, even though it absolutely will. And they still have to settle on a date on which to start the tournament.
FIFA paid out $70 million to clubs which gave up their players for the 2014 World Cup and is now expected to have to find a lot more for the five-week interruption to domestic leagues in 2022.
At least the latest women’s World Cup decision is clear-cut. France has defeated South Korea for the right to host the tournament in 2019.
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