Why FIFA Should Not Move the 2022 World Cup to January

Mathias Ask@@MathiasAskCorrespondent IIMarch 13, 2013

DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 24:  Arab men sit at a shoemaker's stall with a replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy in the Souq Waqif traditional market on October 24, 2011 in Doha, Qatar. Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup football competition and is slated to tackle a variety of infrastructure projects, including the construction of new stadiums.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

FIFA is not exactly the most popular organization among fans to begin with, but if it goes through with the plan to move the 2022 World Cup to January that would be a new low. 

Two months ago, FIFA President Sepp Blatter expressed his concern that hosting the world’s greatest football tournament during the summer when temperatures in Qatar reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) is a health risk. 

And just recently, FIFA reiterated its concern and admitted that they are completely open to moving the tournament to January. FIFA’s General Secretary Jerome Valcke said that the World Cup would be moved if the host country makes a request or if FIFA’s executive committee steps in. 

Valcke said, per FoxSports.com, that the international calendar has not been set for 2019 to 2022, which opens up a window for all parts to come up with a plan "to find eight weeks in the mid-season to play the World Cup." 

Finding eight weeks in the middle of the season is easier said than done. The Premier League has already expressed their opposition to the move on several occasions in past years. 

One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that interrupting the season for over a month is not ideal. It will undoubtedly cause many injury problems, which is already a source of tension between national teams and club teams. 

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There’s also the question of fatigue. If you belong to a quality team like Manchester United, Real Madrid or Barcelona, you are already playing in around 50 games each year. 

When the World Cup comes around every four years, these players usually get about a month without any games before the tournament starts. 

The proposal to move the World Cup to January would put an end to that, unless FIFA is planning on giving players an extended leave before and after the tournament. That would probably push the conclusion of the European Leagues into the summer.

A move to January would also be detrimental to the fan experience. January is not typically a time when people take off work as opposed to the summer. 

Additionally, countries in the Northern Hemisphere will be less likely to cultivate their traditions of watching the game outdoors on a big screen. They’ll be stowed inside trying to get some shelter from the cold. 

It’s also worth noting that the International Olympic Committee has not commented on FIFA’s proposal yet. If the 2022 World Cup were moved to January, it would most likely take some attention away from the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

FIFA’s ludicrous idea has just added fuel to the fire as the 2022 World Cup has already sparked numerous controversies. They ranged from the Human Rights Watch’s report that the organizers will exploit migrant workers to allegations of corruption and intolerance of homosexuals

The 2022 World Cup is already lining up to be a human rights nightmare, and if FIFA goes through with its plan to move the tournament to January it could turn out to be a logistic one too.