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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 4 March 2021
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It looks like the 2022 World Cup final will be played two days before Christmas

A 23 December final is on the cards for Qatar.

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

FOLLOWING A MEETING of key football officials today in Doha, the 2022 World Cup appears set to be a festive affair.

A Fifa taskforce has recommended that the tournament, which will be hosted by Qatar, should take place in November and December.

A number of options were discussed, amid fears that a summer event could be a health risk for both players and fans. Summer temperatures in Qatar often exceed 40 degrees celsius.

Taskforce chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa has also recommended that the 2022 World Cup should be shortened by a few days, but there are no plans to reduce the size of the tournament from 32 teams or 64 matches.

The BBC’s Richard Conway is in Doha today, and he’s one of several members of the media reporting that a 23 December final is on the cards.

The taskforce’s recommendation is expected to be ratified by Fifa’s executive committee on 19/20 March, and world football’s governing body say the proposed dates have ‘the full support of all six Confederations’.

A Fifa statement read: “Given that the two bidding cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics — Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Beijing (China PR) — pledged recently to host the winter games from 4 to 20 February 2022; that the month of Ramadan begins on 2 April in 2022; and that consistently hot conditions prevail from May to September in Qatar, the only remaining effective option is the November/December window.

The development is likely to anger some of Europe’s top leagues, who were lobbying for the tournament to take place in May in order to minimise disruption to their domestic seasons.

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