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Why is the 2022 World Cup being held in November and December?

Here’s why the World Cup is being held outside its usual spot on the soccer calendar this time.


The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to get underway on November 20 in Qatar, marking the first time in history that the tournament has taken place during the winter months. The competition will run for 28 days, culminating in the final match on December 18 at Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.

Until now, every edition of the World Cup has taken place during the summer window, most traditionally running in June and July. When Qatar was announced as the host country back in 2010, controversy immediately surrounded the selection for a number of reasons, with one of the more pressing issues being the extreme temperatures in the summer.

The matches will all be played in Qatar’s capital city of Doha and its surrounding areas, with the furthest venue being Lusail Stadium roughly 23 kilometers outside of the city center. Doha’s average temperature in July is 99 degrees Fahrenheit, with its average high coming in at 106 degrees. July is the hottest month of the year in Qatar and presents some dangerous conditions for players, staff, and spectators alike.

In November, the average temperature in Doha is around 78 degrees, with an average high of 85, while December is even a little better with an average of 70 and a high of 77.

After years of deliberation, FIFA announced in 2015 that they would move the World Cup window to November 20 through December 18. It falls in the middle of most leagues’ seasons, but will be wrapped up before Christmas so leagues like the EPL will still be able to play a full slate on Boxing Day.