Qatar World Cup to be held in November/December

by Tom Walker | 24 Feb 2015

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will take place in November and December – despite fierce opposition to the timing from major European football leagues.

Temperatures in Qatar during June and July – the traditional timing for the World Cup – can reach 50C, making elite outdoor sport of any kind impossible in the country. Temperatures in November-December, however, drop to the more manageable mid-20s.

The decision for an end-of-year tournament has angered Europe's top leagues, which preferred an April-May option to minimise disruption to their domestic programmes.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chair of the European Clubs' Association, warned there would be a financial cost for FIFA in forcing Europe's leagues to amend their seasons.

"For the football family, the rescheduling of the FIFA World Cup 2022 presents a difficult and challenging task," he said.

"All match calendars across the world will have to accommodate such tournament in 2022-23, which requires everyone's willingness to compromise.

"However, the European clubs and leagues cannot be expected to bear the costs for such rescheduling. We expect the clubs to be compensated for the damage that a final decision would cause."

It is the latest in a string of contentious decisions made by FIFA relating to Qatar’s successful – but highly controversial – bid to host the event.

FIFA’s logic to award the tournament to a nation with extreme summer temperatures and limited sporting infrastructure has been questioned from the very beginning.

An earlier suggestion by Qatari officials to host games in air-conditioned stadiums were dismissed as “ludicrous” due to environmental concerns.

There have also been widespread accusations of corruption surrounding the Qatar bid – although FIFA’s investigation into its own dealings found “no evidence to strip Qatar of its right to host the tournament”.

Furthermore, Qatar’s track record on human rights has been brought into question, as hundreds of migrant workers have died in the efforts to build the infrastructure needed to host a successful World Cup.

A report by international law firm DLA Piper called on Qatar to improve workers’ rights and bring an end to the much-criticised “kafala” system that ties workers in many Arab nations to their employers.

Qatar currently has the highest percentage of migrant workers in the world – 85 per cent of the total population – according to the UN Special Rapporteur’s Report on the Human Rights of Migrants.

The confirmation of a November/December World Cup is now expected to be ratified by FIFA's executive committee in Zürich on 19 March.

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will take place in November and December – despite fierce opposition to the timing from major European football leagues. Temperatures in Qatar during June and July – the traditional timing for the World Cup – can reach 50C, making elite outdoor sport of any kind impossible in the country. Temperatures in November-December, however, drop to the more manageable mid-20s. The decision for an
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Embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter has consistently called for the Qatar World Cup to be played at the end of the year
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