The Slatest

Qatar World Cup Will Be Played in November and December, Report Says

Hot and cold: FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty

Sports Illustrated reports that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will take place in November and Decemberinterrupting league seasons around the world—to avoid playing during dangerously hot summer weather in the desert country. (The tournament usually runs from June through July.) Write’s SI’s Grant Wahl: “Multiple sources say it’s a done deal that World Cup 2022 will take place in November and December of 2022 in Qatar. A FIFA task force will meet in Doha next week and make that recommendation, and the FIFA Executive Committee is set to make the decision final at its meeting in Zurich next month.”

USA Today’s For the Win site explains why this move will likely enrage club teams, which are for-profit entitites with massive investments in the players who will be called away from regular-season games to play for national sides in the cup:  

By moving the World Cup to the middle of those club seasons, FIFA is taking the top players away from those clubs, leading to a serious talent deficiency in those leagues. Some leagues may decide to alter their schedules, but that’s a logistical nightmare. If the leagues decide not to alter their schedules, they will be playing games with teams that are missing their best players, which will absolutely affect ratings. Besides: Who’s going to watch a Aston Villa game when England is on TV?

Qatar is a controversial World Cup host for a number of other reasons in addition to weather, from its inhumane treatment of the migrant workers building its stadiums to allegations that it was selected in the first place only because it bribed FIFA voters to its barbaric laws on homosexuality to its bizarre practice of filling out undersold sporting events with paid “fans.”