FIFA have confirmed a winter World Cup for 2022, starting on November 21.
There had been opposition from most European leagues including the Premier League, who rejected the idea that a winter tournament in Qatar would be workable or desirable.
However, president Sepp Blatter refused to alter the dates, to minimise the risk to players’ and supporters’ health given the searing temperatures in Qatar in the summer months.
Plans had initially suggested the final would take place on December 23 but Blatter didn’t want the tournament to finish so close to Christmas – with the showpiece event now taking place on December 18.
That ensures the tournament lasts just 28 days – making it the shortest tournament since 1978.
The decision will have a huge impact on the Premier League, among other European leagues.
Between November 21 and December 18 this season, top-flight clubs are scheduled to play four rounds of fixtures, with another on December 19.
There are also two matchdays in the Champions League during that time frame and the fifth round of the Capital One Cup.
Editor’s Note: Well Sandra from Accounts is going to be disappointed that no-one is coming to the Xmas Party that year as the Winter World Cup is now a definite. To be honest I’m not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing, after the initial outrage that the news of a Winter World Cup brought I think the thought of a month’s worth of Football just before Christmas doesn’t actually sound like the worst thing in the world. Obviously the European Clubs won’t like the disruption but I think Football Fans as a whole don’t really welcome change all that often, ultimately there’s nothing that can be done now so we’ll just have to learn to love the idea. But seriously if it’s a toss up between a World Cup Semi Final or a Department Xmas Lunch with work colleagues, then it’s pretty obvious as to which is going to win that one.