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Klopp, Pep, other coaches have complaints about World Cup move

Moving the World Cup to November was not without consequences, and the coaches have some complaints about the disruption to the season.


The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to happen in November, the first time a World Cup has ever not been held in the summer. The reason FIFA decided on the move is due to the extreme heat that occurs in Qatar in June. It’s not an unreasonable decision, but it is one which has had consequences.

How bad is the heat in Qatar?

A regular day in June in Doha could see temperatures rise to over 105 degrees Farenheit (41 C). Even after the sun goes down, it’s still typically no lower than around 85 F (30 C). In November, the temperatures are still high, but are less dangerous. They should be somewhere between 80 and 90 degrees F (26-32 C) with the game starts no sooner than 6 p.m.

Consequences of a November World Cup

Due to the November World Cup, the tournament will be shorter, with 64 games in 28 days, four less than in 2018. The reason for the cram is that some of the European soccer leagues refused to give up one more weekend of their season for a World Cup that is already disrupting it.

Because the majority of the European teams will play on the weekend of November 12, eight days before the World Cup, there will then be four games each day of the tournament rather than three for the first group-stage rounds. That also will leave just three days between games, not a lot of rest for the players. Some of the teams will have to play seven games in 25 days.

Now, the European leagues begin their seasons early, cramming midweek games in to fit the schedule of the World Cup. The Champions League final will be on June 10, the lates it will end since the 1950s. Domestic leagues will have to have longer midseason breaks.

“The increased fixture congestion caused as a result of the various competition organizers’ failure to adequately collaborate is not helpful for safeguarding player health and performance,” FIFPRO said in a statement.

Financial consequences also should be considered, as ticket sales will inevitably take a hit in the summer months, especially in the parts of Europe where August is typically a month for vacation.

Coaches not happy about the World Cup date change

Several of the coaches of the European leagues are frustrated by the World Cup date change. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s main concern is for the players, who he feels are being exploited.

He also touched on the lack of communication, considering the change affects different clubs in different ways.

“There must be one meeting where they all sit together, and the only subject should be the most important part of the game: the players,” said Klopp.

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel is worried about the distraction the World Cup causes to the players in the middle of the Premier League season.

“The players are very focused on this World Cup already, which is a good thing because they come in shape and take care of themselves,” said Tuchel. “But it’s also a bad thing because they’re focused on the World Cup and not here.”

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola had complaints about the crammed season too, saying it’s like “having two Premier Leagues in one Premier League season”.

“There’s one Premier League before the World Cup. You cannot win the Premier League [before the World Cup], but you can lose it,” said Guardiola.


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