FIFA sets start date for 2022 Qatar World Cup

Tournament will start on November 21 lasting until December 18, breaking with tradition by starting in the winter.

FIFA President Blatter resigns
FIFA allowed Qatar to host the 2022 tournament in the winter to avoid the summer heat [EPA]

FIFA has announced that the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar will start on November 21, kicking off a 28-day tournament that will culminate on December 18. 

Talk to Al Jazeera – Hassan al-Thawadi: ‘A clear bias’ against Qatar

FIFA’s executive committee confirmed the 2022 dates on Friday, six months after picking the Sunday, December 18 date, Qatar’s national holiday, for the final.

In March, FIFA finally decided to switch the 2022 tournament from June-July to avoid Qatar’s summer heat.

A 28-day World Cup is four fewer than usual and is designed to cause less disruption to clubs and leagues which must shut down for several peak midseason weeks.

FIFA had delayed choosing a kickoff date in Qatar while it held talks on the 2019-2024 schedule of national team fixtures.

The international calendar mandates when clubs must release players for national-team duty.

FBI investigation

An FBI investigation into corruption in FIFA was extended in June to include successful bids to host the World Cup by Russia and Qatar.

Swiss authorities also said they were conducting a separate investigation into the bidding process for both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Speaking at the time Qatar’s foreign minister said he was confident the tournament would not be taken away from the state.

“It’s very difficult for some to digest that an Arab Islamic country has this tournament,” Khaled al-Attiyah said on Wednesday.

“No way Qatar can be stripped [of it]. We’re confident and deserve to win it because we presented the best file.”

Outgoing FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, has said the decision to award Qatar the event was “irreversible.”

Source: News Agencies