FIFA Confirms Winter Dates For 2022 World Cup In Qatar
on Jul 14, 2018 05:11 PM EDT
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place on the months of November and December in Qatar rather than the conventional June to July schedule.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino revealed in a press conference that the next edition of the tournament will begin on Nov. 21 and end on Dec. 18. Infantino added that FIFA has yet to decide on whether they will increase the number of participating teams to 48 in the next tournament.
"For now it's a World Cup with 32 teams but everybody is open-minded and we will have a frank and open debate," Infantino revealed.
Sources say that among the primary reasons for FIFA's decision to move the World Cup was the unforgiving heat in Qatar. It will also mark the first time in the history of the World Cup that the tournament will be played during winter instead of summer.
Decision To Move World Cup Receives Backlash
Match of the Day journalist Gary Lineker vented out his frustrations on social media, citing that FIFA's decision to move the World Cup would likely interrupt the football season. There are still no details yet as to how the World Cup will fit right into the domestic leagues, which are likely to start around November and December.
"FIFA's 2022 World Cup in Qatar will take place between November 21st and December 18th. The World Cup has always been a welcomed spectacle during a long football free summer, rather than an interruption of the football season. Darn shame we have to wait 8 years," the former England striker wrote on Twitter.
After the 2022 World Cup, the 2026 World Cup will be co-hosted by Mexico, Canada, and the USA. The next World Cup in Qatar will also be the last edition to feature 32 teams, as FIFA have decided to expand the competition to 48 thereafter.
Infantino Says VAR Has Been Effective
Meanwhile, Infantino, who replaced Sepp Blatter, also recognized the success of the VAR over the course of the competition. Infantino said that the VAR was able to detect 140 checks that included 19 reviews in 62 matches and 16 decisions changed from being wrong to right.
The FIFA president revealed that the introduction of the VAR has increased the accuracy of checks to 99.32 percent from 95 percent. He added that VAR is making football more honest. On the other hand, Infantino also sent his gratitude to the Russian government, specifically president Vladimir Putin and the local hosting committee Russian Football Union, for a great hosting.