FIFA's Executive Committee confirmed that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be staged in November and December with the Final to be on December 18th, coinciding with Qatar’s National Day. You now have almost 8 years to make your travel plans to the most controversial World Cup since the Finals were held in Argentina in 1978, and if you make it, you are considerably less likely to burst into flame due to the oppressive heat. Also, you can still make it back home in time for Christmas!
Here are a few thoughts about the announcement:
1. 7 years out? Really? I did some research, and I could not find any precedent for announcing the final this far out, and it really isn't even close. I understand that the confederations and the big European leagues need time to address scheduling for the winter World Cup in Qatar, but is 7 years really necessary? At first glance, this reeks of Sepp Blatter trying to get the event established in concrete terms before the drum beat for moving the tournament gets louder. He's running for re-election very soon.
2. Just a reminder. It's still pretty hot in Qatar in November. And in December. Also, there's a good shot that bribery was involved. Oh, and the workers are getting worked to death in conditions akin to slavery. Aside from that, well there's the fact there's several countries in the region engaged in civil war, numerous well-stocked jihadist organizations in neighboring countries, and the host country is considered generally repressive. What good can come from supporting the tournament here, exactly? And, why exactly does Sepp Blatter consider skepticism about this 'racist'? I sincerely hope this never comes to pass. I love to travel, and I have no problem traveling to the Middle East, but you could not pay me to make a trip to this World Cup.
3. Silver lining? Maybe? As it pertains to MLS, a winter World Cup wouldn't actually effect the schedule that much, if at all. Teams would be able to eliminate the break in the summer and most players would not be effected by pre-World Cup camp. For European and Mexican-based players, everyone should be relatively fresh for the tournament so maybe the overall quality of play would improve slightly.
Is this amazing hubris? Is this thing actually going to happen? Does it mean anything? What do you think about the World Cup final date for 2022 already being announced?