Qatar World Cup 2022: Premier League to have break of more than six weeks in 2022-23 season

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The Premier League will have a mid-season break of more than six weeks in 2022-23 to accommodate the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

On Thursday, it was announced the next campaign would stop after the weekend of 12/13 November before fixtures resumed again on 26 December.

The season will also begin a week earlier than normal on 6 August and finish a week later on 28 May.

The Champions League and FA Cup finals will therefore be pushed into June.

Confirmation of the Premier League dates comes after clubs were shown an outline calendar at a shareholders’ meeting in September.

The 2022 World Cup runs from 21 November to 18 December and global governing body Fifa has already stipulated that players must be released on 14 November.

That would have taken out seven rounds of Premier League games and the final two Champions League group stages matches from this season’s calendar.

It is understood Uefa is planning to complete the group stage of next season’s competition before the World Cup, which will create heavier fixture congestion. It would be similar to that experienced last term, which started late because of the effects of the shutdown in 2019-20.

The Qatar World Cup is being staged in November and December because temperatures can reach up to 50C in the summer months.

Clubs opposed to a World Cup every two years

All 20 Premier League clubs are unanimously opposed to Fifa’s proposal for biennial World Cups, along with any plans to extend international windows.

The proposals were put forward by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, chief of global football development at Fifa.

However, clubs have raised concerns about the negative impacts the plans would have on player welfare, the fan experience, pre-season preparations and the quality of competitions.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “The Premier League is committed to preventing any radical changes to the post-2024 Fifa International Match calendar that would adversely affect player welfare and threaten the competitiveness, calendar, structures and traditions of domestic football.

“We’re open to reforms and new ideas, but they must enhance the complementary balance between domestic and international football in order to improve the game at all levels.

“We will continue to work with supporter groups, players, domestic and international stakeholders to find solutions that are in the best interests of football’s long-term future.”

South American football’s governing body Conmebol has already said its 10 members, including Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, would not play in a biennial World Cup.

BBC

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