FIFA confirms Qatar 2022 dates
The Qatar-bound 2022 World Cup Final will take place just a week before Christmas for the first time in history, Infantino confirms
World football governing body, FIFA, has confirmed the dates for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, placing it very close to Christmas.
It is fair to say that the Russia 2018 World Cup has provided the world with a month full of entertainment and dissapointments alike if the disussions across the globe and the craze around social media is anything to go by. And it is. It has been a period full of incredible enjoyment for football fans world over.
But as it comes to a close on Sunday, what are these fans going to do, considering that the euphoria will linger for some time? Well, they will turn back to the domestic leagues around the world. There is something else though. The countdown to the next World cup, which is slightly above four years from today.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino confirmed the dates with the Russia 2018 competitions coming to a close with only two matches remaining. Belgium will play England on Saturday afternoon in a third-place play-off, while France will take on Croatia in the Tournaments climax event in Moscow on Sunday afternoon.
Infantino praised the Russian nation for going out of their way to provide a perfect host for a World Cup that he described as 'the best ever.'
"For a couple of years I have been saying this will be the best World Cup ever and today I can say that with conviction - it is the best World Cup ever. I would like to thank everyone. The main actors are on the pitch - the players, referees and coaches - but, of course, there are also all those who have worked to make sure everything has worked smoothly, the Russians," he said while speaking at the traditional tournament overview media conference.
He also congratulated the government and the people of Russia for challenging the attitude of the World, on Russia hosting the World Cup.
"A big thank you to the Russian government and the Russian President Vladimir Putin, the local organising committee, the Russian Football Union, the volunteers, the heart and smile of the World Cup, all those people, more than 100,000, who helped in one capacity or another."
"Everyone discovered a beautiful country, a welcoming country, that is keen to show the world that everything that has been said before might not be true," he said.
Qatar 2022 is going to be very different and unique its own way.
First of all for the very fiirst time in the history of the World Cup, it is going to come just a week before Christmas. In the same media conference, Infantino revealed that the first game in the tourney will kick-off on November 21 with the final match scheduled for December 18, just seven days to Christmas.
"The domestic championships have already been informed of this decision, which is a good decision because we can not play football in June and July in Qatar," he revealed.
Secondly, Infantino commented on the number of teams to take part in the tourney, hoping to push his desire to have 48 teams competing for the trophy in Qatar as opposed to the traditional 32 teams. On this he said:
"We will decide whether it’s 48 or 32 teams in the next few months. We must have discussions with the Qataris and then if there is a possibility with the Fifa Council and stakeholders. Then we will decide calmly and quietly what the decision is. For now it’s a World Cup with 32 teams but everybody is open-minded and we will have a frank and open debate."