The 2022 World Cup will cause great disruption to football leagues around the globe. Are some leagues making the situation worse by resuming the season in the final month of December?
When FIFA awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, did they really think about the problems it would cause? Probably not, football’s governing body remains keen to see their top tournament given to countries that have either not staged the World Cup finals or rarely ever.
However, giving the World Cup to Qatar has meant a tournament that takes place in late November and most of December. That’s left us with most leagues having to be suspended, even in countries that haven’t qualified for the finals.
Several countries won’t be staging games between mid-November and early January. Juventus played Lazio on November 13 but didn’t play again until an away game at Cremonese on January 4..
La Liga clubs played their final pre-World Cup games on November 9. Yet the English Premier League were still playing matches on November 13. That was just seven days before the start of the World Cup. Once the tournament is over, the top English clubs have fixtures scheduled for December 26. Compare that to the German Bundesliga don’t resume fixtures until January 20
France also went down the route of playing games a week before the World Cup started. They’ll be quick to resume Ligue 1 with games scheduled for December 28.
It’s a situation we haven’t seen before. Usually it’s a case of ending the domestic season and then the players go to join their World Cup squads. Play a couple of friendlies and train like mad to get ready for the opening fixtures. Not in 2022 though and the danger is some countries will be unprepared for their first games.
Betting on the 2022 World Cup is going to be massive. Gamblers from all over the world will be placing wagers. That will include US states New York and New Jersey who have both made sports betting legal like WynnBet, Draftkings or Caesars NY sportsbooks.
It’s going to be a worrying time for managers, both at domestic and international level. There’s already been the fear of international bosses that games played in early November might see injuries to key players.
During the World Cup finals, club managers will be watching scared stiff their best players will pick up an injury. Pep Guardiola will see most of his Manchester City squad in action with one notable exception. Erling Haaland won’t be in Qatar which is good and bad news. Clubs will have the task of keeping fit those not playing in the World Cup.
It’s what happens after the World Cup that is most worrying for club managers. Past World Cups have seen players returning home from the tournament given time off before resuming training. That isn’t going to be the case this year, particularly for players who play for countries that reach at least the quarter finals.
Clubs that have a strong squad and players not having just been in Qatar may have an advantage. Or will clubs have to tell their World Cup stars that they have to get back into action right away?
It truly is a season like no other. Almost like starting the leagues all over again and that could produce some very interesting results in December and January.