Sources are reporting that FIFA has settled on a November start to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with a final match set for December 18th. The change comes due to FIFA forgetting that summer temperatures in Qatar reach roughly 8 billion degrees (okay, just 122 degrees, but that’s still really friggin’ hot), which creates a liability for both athletes and spectators. If you recall, FIFA even kicked around the idea of splitting games into three 30-minute periods, even with the state-of-the-art stadium air conditioning.
The winter schedule will have a great impact on European leagues, whose seasons start in the summer and run through the winter. Former German Football Association president Theo Zwanziger had some harsh words for FIFA regarding the effect on German football:
“If you change the match calendar, it not only affects Bundesliga but also goes all the way down to the minor leagues. The structure of German football is in danger and therefore the unity of German football.”
However, Zwanziger did make one comment that I think we can all agree on:
“If the decision [to award the World Cup to Qatar] was wrong back then you have to reverse it and should not load extra burdens on non-participants.”
FIFA’s executive committee members are expected to vote on the proposed change in October.