After a four year wait the World Cup is finally upon us, with one huge difference for 2022 compared with previous editions – it’s taking place during the winter.
The World Cup will start on Sunday, November 20 and last until Sunday, December 18, the day of the final.
The tournament will feel very different compared to years gone by, with matches taking place when the UK is in darkness and the mercury has dropped to around freezing.
But why exactly is the 2022 World Cup in Qatar taking place during the winter months of November and December? Here is your full lowdown.
Why is the World Cup 2022 taking place in winter?
The World Cup is being held in winter to ensure that players do not have to play in the extremely high temperatures during the summer months in Qatar.
Temperatures in June and July – when the World Cup usually occurs – average around 37°C.
This has been deemed too hot for football matches to take place as player health and safety are compromised at this temperature.
FIFA announced that the Qatar World Cup would be held in November and December 2022 back in 2015.
In order to accommodate the World Cup taking place in winter during the middle of the season, domestic and European fixture lists have had to be condensed which caused a fixture pile-up for many teams.
The Premier League has stopped for six weeks while the World Cup takes place.
What is the temperature in Qatar during winter?
WeatherAndClimate.com state that the maximum temperature in November in the capital Doha is 30°C, with a minimum of 20°C.
In December, the temperature falls to a maximum of 25°C and minimum of 16°C.
These temperatures are deemed suitable for football matches to take place, although the stadiums will still contain advanced air conditioning units to ensure the temperatures remain cool for the players.
The humidity will be between 60% and 70% during November and December, which is higher than the average for the rest of the year in Qatar.
Why is the World Cup in Qatar?
Qatar was chosen to host this year’s World Cup back in 2010 ahead of rival bids from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the USA.
The decision led to accusations of corruption involving FIFA and Qatar, along with criticism for selecting the country as hosts due to its undesirable human rights record.
Disgraced former FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in 2010: ‘The Arabic world deserves a World Cup. They have 22 countries and have not had any opportunity to host the tournament before.’