The Premier League will take a mid-season break to accommodate the World Cup – but preparation and recovery time will be extremely limited.
The final weekend of fixtures will take place over 12/13 November, just five days before the first game. England are guaranteed not to be involved in that match, as Qatar will open the tournament and they are in the same pot meaning they cannot be in the same, but it could still affect players from other nations – with one other Group A match also taking place on November 18.
There will be no top flight domestic action in England again until Boxing Day – eight days after the tournament comes to a close.
Will the 2022 World Cup affect the Premier League season? Full details on fixtures and schedules as England’s top-flight to resume on Boxing Day next year after November break https://t.co/Tr2F1wZ27p pic.twitter.com/Sw0OoPqYy4
— SPORTS CIRCUS INT. (@SPORTSCIRCUSINT) September 22, 2021
The season will include 34 weekend Match Days, three mid-weeks and one Bank Holiday round.
And there will still be a standalone weekend for the FA Cup final.
Prem chiefs have tried to keep the season as close as possible to the usual format – while incorporating the break needed for the World Cup to take place.
World Cup 2022: Key dates
- April 1: World Cup draw
- August 6: Premier League season starts
- November 12/13: Final round of Premier League games before World Cup
- November 21: World Cup starts
- December 3/6: Round of 16
- December 9/10: Quarter-finals
- December 13/14: Semi-finals
- December 18: World Cup final
- December 26: Premier League resumes
Next stop: #FinalDraw
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) March 31, 2022
This will be the last time, for now at least, that there will be 32 teams at the World Cup. FIFA believe bigger is better, so from 2026, the tournament will be expanded to 48.