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Monday 11 December 2017

Date for 2022 World Cup Finals is just too late, says FIFA vice president Jim Boyce

Jim Boyce, Britain's FIFA vice-president, receives an OBE in the New Year Honours.
Jim Boyce, Britain's FIFA vice-president, receives an OBE in the New Year Honours.

A FIFA task force has recommended playing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in November/December but FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce will oppose any move to hold the final as late as December 23.

The task force announced its recommendation for a “late November to late December” winter World Cup following a meeting in Doha, and also said that the tournament should be shortened.

Read More: Qatar World Cup 2002: Questions and answers 

The recommendations will be taken to FIFA’s executive committee meeting in Zurich on March 19 and 20 for a final decision on the dates.

Boyce (above), from Northern Ireland, said moving the World Cup to the winter was a “common sense” decision but that a final on December 23, which is reportedly one of the options, would be too close to Christmas and the traditional festive matches.

“I think that is too close to Christmas - that’s the only reservation I would have and I would like it a week earlier, but I want to wait until the FIFA executive committee meeting to hear all the details about the dates,” said Boyce.

“It will cause a lot of disruption but it is eight years away and people should have enough time to make it work.”

A FIFA statement confirmed the task force had recommended a shorter tournament in November and December. January/February was ruled out because of the Winter Olympics, Ramadan made April unavailable, while the climate blocked the World Cup being played between May and September.

It said: “The outcome of the discussions is also a proposed reduced competition days schedule with the exact dates to be defined inline with the match schedule and number of venues to be used for the 22nd edition of football’s flagship event.

“The proposed event dates have the full support of all six confederations. The proposal will be discussed at the next meeting of the FIFA executive committee, scheduled to take place at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on 19 and 20 March 2015. “

Read More: Objections expected to winter 2022 World Cup

The statement said the task force was exploring the option of staging the Confederations Cup in another Asian confederation country during the traditional June/July window in 2021, and using another FIFA competition such as the Club World Cup as the operational test event for Qatar in November/December 2021.

The leagues and clubs had pushed for a May/June tournament but that was ruled out on grounds of heat, but they are expected to push for a reduced preparation period beforehand and a cut in the number of international dates during the season.”

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