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FIFA president Infantino confirms winter dates for 2022 World Cup


The 2022 World Cup will officially be played on a winter schedule.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be played between Nov. 21 and Dec. 18. Infantino added that leagues around the world have been informed of the change, giving each league four years to adjust their domestic schedules to fit the tournament.

In addition, Infantino added that no decision has been made over the size of the tournament. As things stand, the 2022 tournament will be a 32-team event although that could shift to a 48-team competition. The 2026 World Cup, set to be held in the U.S., will be a 48-team World Cup.

The 2018 World Cup continues Saturday with the third-place match between England and Belgium before wrapping up on Sunday as Croatia takes on France.


  1. The idea of 3 team groups is so stupid. We saw this during one of the CONCACAF U tournaments (can’t remember if it was U-17 or U-20) last year. One team SITS while the other teams play. It’s a competitive disadvantage for whomever isn’t playing; playing two straight games; playing one, sitting one, then playing again; etc. etc. etc. EVERYONE in the group should dislike the format. I’d rather they slightly devalue the Knock-Out stage than make a mockery of the group stage. My version would have more games (72 group stage matches versus the current 48) and more revenue which would be hard for FIFA to resist. The knock-out stage would have the same number of teams and games as the existing FIFA plan: 16 knockout stage games in R1; 8 in R16; 4 quarterfinals; 2 semis; and the final and 3rd place match (104) versus 64.

    To compensate, I would allow for expanded rosters of 30. Additionally, any injured player (agreed upon by neutral medical experts) can be replaced at the start of the knockout rounds by a player on the provisional roster (also expanded).

    The biggest stumbling block is they would probably need at least 2 more weeks to do this, OR they just have more group stage games each day (maybe holding ALL of each group’s matches simultaneously). That would make for some compelling drama, not knowing the result in the other game for all 3 group stage matches.

  2. these dates will conflict with our mls play-offs and mls cup final. many players will not be available for the wc because their clubs will need them at home to win the championship.

      • Classic FIFA bait-and-switch. The vote was for a SUMMER WC. It’s too disruptive to the schedule. It makes a mockery of FIFA trying to standardize leagues to fit into the European schedule of starting in late summer and going until mid to late Spring. That and MLS will be affected immensely by it. Then again, considering WHO really is running the federation, it’s a dose of Karma for MLS and the federation. It would be so awful (assuming we can even qualify) to make up a squad of almost all European and Mexican league players (rolls eyes).

      • Not sure if you meant 48 teams (I assume yes, unless this is a strange existentialist joke)…. but let’s face it… that’s completely embedded in this. There is precious little extra time embedded in the current 31 day schedule. Shaving the time down to 27 days pretty much means they are planning on cutting the group stage down from 3 games to 2. Am I the only one who hates this? I really enjoy the fact that the qualifying teams get a guaranteed 3 games each. Not to mention the terrible incentives it creates on the final matchdays.

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