September 23 – The English Premier League looks set to break for an unprecedented six weeks to incorporate the 2022 World Cup, the first ever to be staged in winter.
The season is scheduled to come to a halt on November 13 next year and resume on Boxing Day for the UK’s traditional Christmas programme.
As a result, the 2022-23 campaign will begin a week earlier than normal on August 6 and finish a week later on May 28. That would push both the Champions League and FA Cup finals into June.
Clubs were shown an outline calendar at a shareholders’ meeting.
The World Cup in Qatar runs from 21 November to 18 December and FIFA has stipulated that players must be released on 14 November. The changes means that should any English-based players reach the World Cup final on December 18, they will have just eight days to recover before the domestic league resumes.
Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow told Sky the idea of the winter World Cup was “crazy”.
“We won’t see any Premier League football at the peak of our season between November and December, which is something that people are going to have to get used to,” he said.
“These are decisions that get taken a long time ago. They bite, quite soon. Next season we’ll all see that. I always have concerns about player welfare but I have more concerns for our fans missing Premier League football in the winter for five weeks, which is our great national tradition and our great national heritage.”
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