Football fans throughout Europe have been mourning the absence of a summer World Cup this year.
There’ll be no sun-drenched afternoons and evenings watching the biggest sporting competition in the world. Instead, plenty of supporters will be wrapped up in coats, scarves and blankets sipping mulled wine with the tournament taking place in November and December.
Here’s why the tournament is being held in November and December.
Why is the 2022 World Cup in November and December?
When Qatar was awarded the World Cup by FIFA in 2010, a number of large logistical problems immediately came to light.
One of the major concerns for nations around is the scorching heat in the Middle East. The average temperature in Qatar over a year is 29 degrees celsius, but it can hit 40 during their summer months.
That heat is too much for players to compete in due to health and illness concerns, so in 2015 FIFA announced that the World Cup would be played in November and December instead of June and July, the months typically associated with the tournament.
The move alleviated concerns about the climate but also gave major leagues around the world a major scheduling problem, giving the World Cup takes place during one of the more hectic times of the year, particularly in the Premier League.
Leagues will break up to allow the World Cup to take place, though most players will only have roughly a week or two to prepare before the games begin.
The Premier League’s final weekend of games will take place on 12/13 November, with the curtain-raiser of Qatar vs. Ecuador kicking off a week later.
Has a World Cup taken place in the winter before?
It is the first ever World Cup to take place in the European winter. While the competition has taken place in hot countries like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, it has never been moved to the later part of the year.