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Saturday 16 December 2017

Qatar World Cup 2002: Questions and answers

What you need to know about the proposed winter World Cup

Q: Do we know the actual dates of the 2022 World Cup?

A: No, not yet - only that "late November to late December" is being recommended by the FIFA task force. There have been suggestions the final could be as late as December 23. A decision will be taken by FIFA's executive committee on March 20.

Q: What is the likelihood of the final being on December 23?

A: That date would be too near Christmas for European liking. It also lands on a Friday in 2022. A more likely date would be Sunday, December 18 2022 - which also happens to be Qatar National Day.

Q: Would there still be a Christmas programme in Britain?

A: That depends on the timing of the final - it would still be possible if it is on December 18.

Q: What disruption will there be to fixtures generally?

A: The Premier League, Champions League and Europa League will all be affected as they will have to reschedule matches due to be played in November and December. It is likely the European club season will finish at the end of June rather than May. There could be a knock-on effect delaying the start of the FA Cup third round and the semi-finals and final of the League Cup.

Q: Could the Scottish leagues and Football League competitions continue at the same time as the World Cup?

A: It would be very possible for those leagues without many World Cup players in the teams - probably after the group stage of the World Cup has finished. It already happens with some leagues that play in the summer - for example Norway started its top-flight season on July 4, 2014, some nine days before the final of the World Cup.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter with Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko. (AP)
Fifa president Sepp Blatter with Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko. (AP)

Q: Will it affect the 2021/2022 season and the 2023/2024 season, as well as the 2022/2023 season?

A: There may be some effects but the football authorities, in England at least, believe the disruption can be minimised.

Q: How early will FIFA demand clubs release players for pre-World Cup training camps?

A: This will be part of the trade-off for clubs and leagues, who will be pushing for there to be no more than two weeks between their competitions halting and the World Cup beginning.

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