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Sunday, November 29, 2020

FIFA confirms winter World Cup in Qatar; sets final for National Day

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FIFA headquarters
FIFA headquarters

It’s official: Football’s governing body has decided to take the unprecedented step of moving the 2022 World Cup to the winter months to escape Qatar’s searing summer heat.

The tournament will now be played in November and December of 2022, ending with a final match on Qatar’s National Day, Dec. 18, FIFA confirmed today after its executive committee convened in Zurich.

The BBC quoted a FIFA spokesman as saying:

“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.”

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The announcement follows more than four years of speculation on the date for the tournament, which Qatar bid for on the basis of summer dates, but which has been long thought would be moved to cooler months.

A FIFA taskforce had already made a historic recommendation to move Qatar’s tournament from the games’ traditional June/July dates to November/December following a meeting last month.

However, at the time it stopped short of confirming specific dates for when the matches would take place.

In a statement today, FIFA spoke of a shortened timeline, but didn’t give an exact start date for the tournament yet:

“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.”

Reaction

In Qatar, where residents are very familiar with the painful summer heat, many expressed approval of FIFA’s decision. On Twitter, some said:

http://twitter.com/nawafalthani/status/578620209558241280

But abroad, many football fans have opposed the shift in the tournament dates because it would require adjusting the schedule of several European leagues.

Those frustrations were once again aired on Thursday as the news started to leak out.

There was also earlier opposition from US broadcaster Fox, which paid a record amount to carry the 2018 and 2022 World Cup matches. It was concerned a winter World Cup would conflict with its coverage of National Football League (NFL) games in the US.

However, FIFA is believed to have at least partially placated the US network’s concerns by awarding it the rights to broadcast the 2026 without allowing any competing bids.

Keeping cool

Qatar was awarded summer 2022 tournament hosting rights even though bid evaluators flagged the country’s scorching summer heat as a hazard.

Qatar Foundation stadium
Qatar Foundation stadium

To help fans and players cope, local organizers proposed the development of a high-tech air conditioning system that would keep those within the stadiums cool.

It put its cooling technology on display last summer, albeit on a much smaller scale, at a fan zone in Katara set up for spectators watching football matches broadcast from the World Cup in Brazil.

However, even if the stadiums and fan zones were kept at a comfortable temperatures, there were still questions about how much tourists would enjoy their time visiting Qatar outside the official matches.

Local organizers told reporters during a press conference last month that it planned to continue to develop the cooling technology, which could be used in other applications such as greenhouses.

Thoughts?

30 COMMENTS

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Ali Elali
Ali Elali
5 years ago

The Dilemma of celebrating either National day or the WC winner :p

gore
gore
5 years ago

yay!!

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

My folder of “that was obvious” is now over flowing.

I don’t blame Qatar I blame FIFA. A disgusting mess.

#blatterout

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago

I am not sure celebrating the national day and the WC final in the same day is a good idea. If Qatar wants to keep the National Day celebrations then it is going to be a security headache for both FIFA and the ND organizers.

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago

I assume the cornish will be busy in that day

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

But if the football supporters try to go there without a family to watch, then they might get upset when turned away.

guest
guest
5 years ago
Reply to  wee_johnnie

When they say single, they mean south Asian. Western to be turned away? … No point!

Scarletti
Scarletti
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

no Cornwall is quite an under-populated region,and I don’t think those guys have a national day

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

Nice one.

AEC
AEC
5 years ago

What could possibly go wrong?

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
5 years ago

The logical thing to have done would have been to hold the final on Saturday 17 December then have one big celebration on the Sunday to mark the end of the tournament and Qatar National Day. Missed opportunity.

Pri
Pri
5 years ago
Reply to  wee_johnnie

Logical? Nope, that’s your opinion.

abc
abc
5 years ago

Did anyone factor in the fact that it is against the law in Qatar to serve alcohol on National Day? Will the finals be dry?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  abc

This is Qatar. Rules can be bent.

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
5 years ago
Reply to  abc

FIFA obviously expects Qatar to win the World Cup, so double celebration, no beer

Koko71
Koko71
5 years ago
Reply to  abc

ehhh who said “it’s against the Law to drink/serve alcohol on National Day”?? We always get served on National Day in any hotel… there’s no law stopping them!!

Rienz
Rienz
5 years ago

The entire bid was based on false promises. I wonder what Australia, Japan, South Korea and USA have to say about this – they might have been “offered” substantial concessions on gas and lucrative contracts but in the case of USA, unconditional support for the US armed forces in Qatar.

Diego
Diego
5 years ago

Well I am glad thats done and out of the way so they can get on with it.Fox etc. will be mad…but then just think of the traffic as school will be in full swing( as it may have for part of the June period as well,but this way no recourse….unless).

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
5 years ago
Reply to  Diego

No worries, work and school will be cancelled so that Blatter and his gang can zip around in style

Diego
Diego
5 years ago
Reply to  al-Lalal

Yea, most likely send them home early.Bladder….he may not be in power by that time.I hear General Noriega will be up for parole by that time and is interested in running.

disqus_CpJJvzDxuG
disqus_CpJJvzDxuG
5 years ago
Reply to  Diego

I’m sure the kids will be volunteering, joining some WC activity, or skipping school to see the matches anyway…Schools will probably close early to accommodate for all of that. Say hello to a longer academic year in 2022.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I look forward to land cruisers on two wheels driving recklessly across the grass of the final waving Qatari flags, shouting ‘reflect your respect’

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

…and tailgating and flashing lights at the golf cart that takes injured players off the pitch

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

That’s the spirit 🙂

The_Angry
The_Angry
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Haters gonna hate.

Congratulations Qatar.

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago

That will keep the number of western fans down. It’s all worked out perfect in the end – for Qatar. The prostitution of football by the pimps of Zurich is complete.

facty
facty
5 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

They arent looking at western fans. They want it to be filled by the GCC ones. SO expect more 5 star hotels.

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
5 years ago

National day, Christmas or fifa. Decide any one

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago

🙂

Martin
Martin
5 years ago

Does anyone know the daily capacity for the airport and if it can manage the volume of passengers departing from the WC on top of residents heading home for Christmas between the 19th & 24th December?

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