After years of debate about when to hold the 2022 World Cup, FIFA has moved one step closer to changing the official dates of the Qatar-based tournament due to the country’s searing heat.
A FIFA task force that met in Doha today made a historic recommendation to move the games from the traditional June/July months to November/December.
In a statement, the committee said:
“Given that the two bidding cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics – Almaty (Kazakastan) and Beijing (China) – pledged recently to host the winter games from 4 to 20 February 2022, that the month of Ramadan begins on 2 April in 2022; and that consistently hot conditions prevail from May to September in Qatar, the only remaining effective option is the November/December window.
For legal reasons, the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup must be played within the calendar year 2022.”
Despite speculation, however, the committee did not recommend any specific dates, saying those would be decided “in due time.”
Fifa task force on Qatar stop short of dates saying only late Nov / late Dec but I understand one option is Nov 26 – Dec 23.
— Richard Conway (@richard_conway) February 24, 2015
In recent weeks, talk of moving the World Cup was considered to be a “done deal.”
But the decision would present a challenge particularly for some 844 European football clubs in 22 countries.
The teams previously argued that shifting the dates would have an adverse effect on timetables for domestic matches, and would harm leagues’ business interests.
But speaking to BBC, the head of the task force, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, said yesterday that holding the games in May, which is what Europe’s top leagues and clubs preferred, was not possible.
“All parties have to compromise, not just the Europeans,” Sheikh Salman said.
The task force has been discussing potential alternatives to a summer World Cup since September, weighing January/February 2022, November/December 2022 and the original summer plan.
But holding the games in January 2022 would clash with the winter Olympics, said Salman, who is president of the Asian Football Confederation.
“Stakeholders are concerned about playing in the summer, so we have to change to winter,” he said. “The only option that I see is November/December.”
American broadcaster Fox – which paid a record amount for the broadcasting rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups – has also voiced concerns over a winter World Cup, which would clash with its coverage of National Football League (NFL) games.
But recently, FIFA awarded Fox rights to air the 2026 World Cup without reportedly allowing other broadcasters to bid, prompting some to speculate that the network had been appeased over changes in the 2022 calendar.
For its part, Qatar’s organizing committee head Hassan Al Thawadi said they were “ready to comply” with the “football community’s decision.”
Following today’s recommendation, the FIFA Executive Committee will decide the World Cup dates during its next meeting on March 19.
And all of the other bidders are perfectly happy with this change of the original conditions…
the bid was for a summer world cup – so this negates the bid – expect all sorts of legal challenges for costs and a re-bid – unless brown envelopes have already circulated ?
I don’t think that the summer was part of the bidding process…..the dates are only ever an assumption. I mean what would have England done different if it was in the Winter….oh that would be unfair….I don’t see a viable legal challenge here……just some expats in Qatar pretending to be lawyers.
What if there was a World Cup and nobody bothered to show up?
I am old enough to remember when Knoxville TN, was awarded a World’s Fair. You didn’t hear much about World Fairs after that.
So you think 2022 will be the end of football? I’m down with that.
I’m thinking the World Cup is not invulnerable. 😉
I personally think the biggest challenge to be faced lies in not the temperature, but in holding a football tournament in what is a conservative Islamic country.
That’s not to criticise Qatar: i really like the culture and way of life here. And I’m not criticising football fans either, but the two just seem VERY incompatible. Your going to have a lot of fans getting roaring drunk in hotel bars, before and after games, and then heading out into the streets of Doha, probably shirtless and singing and shouting. I mean look at what goes on at ANY other World Cup. Do you think the female fans will dress conservatively?
Are you sure you really want this, Qatar? it won’t be like the Handball, that’s for sure…
The World Cup cameramen love picking out the hot chicks!
Are you sure any fans are going to turn up? I don’t think so. No moves have been made to entice “fans” as we understand them. There is currently no suitable accommodation for them as all the hotels are 4*+ and the only new hotels planned for the WC are similarly 4*+. This is going to be a WC for 4-5* guests only, and the empty spaces in the stadiums will be (part) filled with the expat workers who will be given free entry.. It’s the Qatar show, not a football competition.
Perhaps they’ll fly them in by the stadium load from india and they can have “spectator camps” for them to stay at out in the desert… Nobody from Europe will get a visa because of the potential for hooliganism.
I agree, but European fans at least tend to be pretty affluent. Tickets to see Premiere League matches in the UK aren’t cheap, and if they can book a hotel room, they’ll be here.
The English FA estimated 12,000 fans travelled to Brazil 2014, spending on average £10,000 each. I can’t see Qatar being as popular, but there’s a hardcore who will want to come.
I know many people who travel all over the world following England and there is no way any of them would have paid anywhere near 10k for Brazil. Especially considering they only got to see 3 games anyway!
I was in Germany for the 06 WC and camped the whole time so campsites only cost a few euros per person per night. They put up temporary campsites to house the 100k plus England fans that were there during the knock out stages. 90% of football fans do not want 5* star which will cost them 10k.
At the last two world cups the country with the most fans attending (apart from the host) was the United States. I’m not sure that lot are up to camping.
Why wouldn’t the Americans camp?
I was at WC2006 and you are absolutely correct Ben. On top of the £1000 airfare will be hotel costs of probably £200 a night and beer at £8 (minimum) a pint. And Dubai will cost exactly the same. As for camping n Qatar – there is no camping in Qatar because it’s totally impractical.
And they’ll have all the hotels etc. in place already have had the Expo.
With the options available within Dubai versus Doha, guess who will indirectly benefit from Qatar world cup? What a sucker…chuckles.
The realistic expectation is that fans will stay in Dubai and fly to Doha for the matches they wish to see. Dubai is going to reap all the financial gains from this event, and Doha will be left to cover the cost of infrastructure and stadiums.
I’ve travelled to a few world cups and european matches. England (and probably most European fans) will definitely go to Dubai and fly in and out for matches. Two week holiday in Dubai v two week holiday in Doha
Dubai just has bigger malls.
There will be pamphlets handed over to all ticket holders with “Reflect your Respect” and probably a “Homosexuals might be prosecuted” as warnings.
Does that include the homosexual team members too?
Brazil had about a million WC visitors. If Qatar has the same and you make a rough estimate of 1 in 10 then that is about 100,000 people for the bedroom police to keep an eye on. Could be tricky.
The scale of the country PR, good or bad for that matter, hosting one of (if not the) world’s greatest sporting events for such a relatively tiny country will likely have been the primary thought process, way before the first bid was submitted. No disagreement on the biggest challenges, however, there are a further 7 years for the game plan to be refined and formulated, additional budget (Temporary) hotel accommodation to be constructed, other options to be considered. Conservative or not, this was not an impulsive decision to bid. We should expect ‘Alco’zones where fans can drink freely around the stadiums, or even downtown….will be interesting to see what happens. Most of the wet hotels will have their World Cup promotions in full swing and do very well. Qatar’s committment is there, it’s now simply down to the execution of the game plan on the world stage…. if all goes well, Qatar will be left with a great cultural and commercial launch pad towards their 2030 Tourism master plan. If it doesn’t….well there’s always handball……..just one personal request, Shater Abbas to do the stadium food………………….
Agreed. I can’t see how this will work. I was staying in a hotel in Qatar and when my GF came to visit we were told she could not stay in my room (unmarried). How are they going to tell all the Euro lads that they need to get 2 hotel rooms during WC – one for themselves and one for their ladies if unwed? No grog and no shagging – yeah, a WC to remember (not).
You’re right. For those of us who live here, that’s just a fact of life. Question is: what’s gonna happen when Christiano Ronaldo turns up with his boyfriend? 🙂
I suppose with it being a few months later it gives them more time to kill a few more workers
This is an unnecessary comment, sorry to say …
Wow! Going to be a lot of unhappy people if this is approved. I wonder if FIFA has enough money to grease all the palms needed on this one.
It is the only logical solution otherwise WC can never be held in certain places but the original bid should have been on these dates not June/July. You can’t chabge terms of the bid after award, who do they think they are Qatari client companies?
The original bid was for the June/July dates … Qatar did not change that … But as far as I know, FIFA reserves the right to change the dates if necessary … And this change in dates does not come as a surprise, I guess this has been on the table and decided shortly after the bid was given to Qatar …
Illusion or delusion? Do me a favour. Qatar always knew they could never hold a summer WC. FIFA just had to find a way of making the obvious happen without losing face.
Qatar always knew it would *never* be a summer event. But wasn’t it amusing to watch everyone gulp down the Kool-Aid back in 2009 and 2010 and say, with unwavering confidence and certainty, that “of course they can host a summer world cup… there are new cooling technologies, and besides, anyone who says you can’t play a world cup here in summer is just using that as a veil to mask their racist views… if they can’t host it in summer, why then did FIFA award it to them for summer… stop being so negative”.
Turns out that the harshest critics of a summer-in-Qatar world cup have been FIFA themselves, making statements that it’s irrational and dangerous and foolish to even consider playing in such temperatures.
Not really a surprise … was in the talks for a very long time now …
That’s funny – Qatar says that it isn’t possible to hold a WC here in summer. Could have sworn their original bid said a summer WC in Qatar was no problem. Maybe I’m just getting old and confused. It will be interesting to see what “done deals” with stakeholders come to light in the future. Must be a whole storage depot of brown envelopes somewhere in Qatar.
I think Qatar maintain that they can host the tournament when FIFA dictate. It is this task force that has been set up to look at the safety aspect of hosting the tournament in the summer that is recommending to FIFA its findings that included moving the tournament to be held in the winter.
“All parties have to compromise, not just the Europeans” – why? The bid process was to identify a host city capable of holding the event in the northern hemisphere summer.
To say that everyone now must compromise because FIFA selected Qatar when it could not fulfill the requirement of hosting the event in its normal timeslot is lunacy.
It’s lunacy to say that a football game to be held in 8 years time can’t move time slot…
More likely the move to Nov/Dec will result in the World Cup itself being greatly reduced so as to minimize the impact on the 22/23 European playing season.
A winter world cup will also have a major impact the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, but so far their statement has been “Caf is backing up 100 per cent the proposals of task force and will adjust the calendar accordingly when a final decision will be made on the schedule of Qatar 2022.”
Nah – the sport will cope. It’s just posturing by the European clubs trying to gain more compensation and power.
Plus i wonder if moving a tournament to a time optimal for the participants would be more preferable to clubs as players are less likely to suffer exhaustion and burnout following its conclusion? Just a thought.
Wonder what would happen to the millions spent on cooling technologies .
Donated to needy Inuit.
So what is everyone saying? Football, as it is today, is incompatible with a middle east country? So the world cup should never be in a middle east country? That sounds very unfair. 1. People in this part of the world love football. 2. This is a stable, safe, affluent country. 3. There is a lot of misunderstanding in the world right now regarding Islam, and it would be good for peace if the world visits a Muslim culture for some time. So the world cup, which has been hosted all over the world, really has all the right reasons to come to the middle east now.
So what is everyone really saying? They are talking about profits and catering to fans of the west. Yes, these fans like to party. So yes, if these fans can’t live without their alcohol and cannot give another type of culture a chance, they may not come, and so the profits would go down. Hopefully there will be enough fans who love football more than alcohol. For example, families with kids. OK, then one might argue that even these good-willed fans will not be able to afford a trip to Qatar, with all its fancy 5-star hotels.
I think this last point is valid. I’m sure Qatar is listening and they find a solution. The WC is still some ways away. Qatar is a generous host when it wants to be …. maybe they will subsidize the hotel costs. Who knows?
…absolutely beautiful comment.
It’s a wonder you didn’t spell the ‘positive’ in your name with a ‘b’.
More time to finish late running projects. Just as well they picked Nov/Dec 2022 and not Jan/Feb 2022.
It is ridiculous that a country as small as Qatar has been allowed to host the World Cup. I am all for the World Cup going to different parts of the world and do not have a problem with it being in the Middle East. But to a country with a population of just over 2 million, of which half are here to build to the stadiums and infrastructure and therefore will not be in the country in 2022. Despite what people say, there is no football culture here. I went to watch Qatar v Australia the crowd was barely 3,000. To watch the national team, that is shameful. I have been to watch QSL games, with crowds of just over 1,000. For footballing reason alone the World Cup should not be held in Qatar, might as well be held in Laos, Surinam or Slovenia
That’s a bit harsh on Slovenia. A far bigger footballing nation with far more history than Qatar!
I mean no disrespect to Slovenia. I mentioned them solely due to size and population. By far a better footballing nation than Qatar. I also have the utmost respect for Slovenian heritage and Slovenian values.
One big difference. Qatar has the money and is willing to spend it, those countries can’t afford a WC.
Exactly. All that Qatar has to offer is money. No tradition, no local fan base, no interest. Just money.
Proposed end date is Dec 23… And then all would rush to the airport to travel on Christmas eve to head home? Or spend it here?!
THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING — really who cares? What a pointless thing to get all worked up over. In other news, Hamsa is having a birthday party on Saturday instead of Friday. But that’s not fair!!! Look, England, you lost the bid, get over it all ready.
Relax, sounds a bit like you need to get over something
Nah….don’t really give 2 bits about it. I just find the constant whining about the world cup being here and not some place else a bit tiring. Its always something, the heat, the dates, the stadiums, the people. Its just a football game, who really cares. I mean all the other things in the world we could be spending time thinking of….and there is this. Seriously. People should just get over it already, look forward to either working to make it happen, leaving when its going on, or attending. I have never seen so much consternation over something so pointless.
Indeed. Something so pointless, and horrendously expensive.
If the point of spending all this money was for prestige and bragging rights, you’d be left wondering if it’s all worth it after this much fuss.
England did not bid for 2022…
No, they lost to Russia, but hope to gain a shot at it by having it revoked. Also slammed in the ethics report.
The 2022 World Cup award is a big scam to milk Qatar. FIFA, the most corrupt legally-existing organization in the world, started it and now everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.
I do not want my world cup in Nov- Dec. We must have it in summer time as always. We do need to bend to please qatar. If they are not able to organise it properly than give it to another country or group of countries that do act professional.
I wonder how expensive air tickets will be for those wishing to go away on vacation around Christmas 2022….assuming that seats are available.
Boycott Qatar 2022