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    2022 World Cup dates announced as Qatar tournament set to be played at end of year


    Joe Jones

    FIFA president Gianni Infantino has confirmed that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be played between November 21 and December 18.

    However, the number of participating teams is still unconfirmed.

    The next edition of the tournament will switch to the winter months because of the summer climate in Qatar, and Infantino announced the exact dates.

    "The dates for the World Cup are set. It will played in Qatar from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18, 2022," he said. "The leagues are all aware and they will have to adapt their calendars as a consequence.

    "In the end it is the right decision. It cannot be played in June and July and in November and December the players are very well prepared because it is almost the beginning of the season."

    In recent months, Infantino has supported calls to add 16 more teams to the 2022 tournament, a plan that could make Qatar share hosting duties because it is building only eight stadiums.

    Infantino said Qatar can insist on keeping a 32-team format, though he is "pretty sure that all options will be on the table."

    "In the coming months, we will meet with them and adopt a decision. For the moment, it will be played with 32 teams and the distribution of spots will remain as they are," he said.

    "First we will discuss with the Qataris and then with the FIFA Council and stakeholders and decide calmly what the decision is. For the moment, we have a World Cup with 32 teams."

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