2022 World Cup final set for week before Christmas

FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

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FIFA has confirmed the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar will be played on Sunday, December 18 - a week before Christmas Day.

The decision to hold the climax of the winter World Cup just days before Christmas will allow traditional Boxing Day club matches to take place.

The 2022 World Cup is to be played in the winter to avoid the fierce heat of June and July, and it will be a shortened tournament over 28 days instead of the usual 32.

The final on Sunday December 18 is also Qatar’s national day.

UEFA had pushed for the final to be as late as December 23 but that option attracted opposition from FIFA members who feared it would cause problems for fans and players getting home in time for Christmas, as well as affecting club football’s festive programme.

Meanwhile, it is understood FIFA’s executive committee in Zurich has chosen France to host the 2019 women’s World Cup over South Korea.