2022 World Cup to take place in January

So Herr Blatter (self-styled king of world football) annouced today that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will probably take place in winter – meaning a January World Cup for the first time ever.

Here’s the story from Mike Collett of Reuters:

DOHA – The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will  probably be staged in January rather than June or July, FIFA  president Sepp Blatter said for the first time on Friday. 

Speaking to a media roundtable in the Qatari capital  before the opening match of the Asian Cup, he said: “I expect  it will be held in the winter. We have time to look at this  question, it is still 11 years away but we must decide the  most adequate period for a successful world cup which means  January or the end of the year.” 

Summer temperatures in Qatar can soar to over 40 degrees  Celsius while those in the winter months are far more  comfortable. 

My question is this: how will the biggest leagues in the world take this news? Bear in mind that the big leagues in the world are based in Europe and play full fixtures from the first weekend in January – and leagues like the English Premier League play right through Christmas and New Year. With a World Cup in January, these leagues will be forced to go into a shut-down.

This means:

  • The leagues being made to start a month earlier or finished a month later;
  • TV broadcasts of the leagues will have to change, with this having a possible implication on money for TV rights;
  • Players will not have as long a break between seasons, which has the potential for injuries (this will piss clubs off as they pay massive amounts of cash for these players); and
  • People might not have the money to travel in January – we all know how expensive the year-end festive season can be.

I really don’t think that a summer World Cup is a good idea. I don’t think it’ll work. And I think Fifa’s idea of taking a World Cup to Qatar is going to prove a massive nightmare – it’s just a matter of the backhanders and kickbacks being worth the headache.

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