FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar - Final to Be Held on December 18th

Qatar World Cup 2022 - Official Tournament LogoFor the first time in the history of the world's premier football tournament, the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosted by the Arab nation of Qatar, will be held in the winter months of November and December instead of the traditional June-July period.

Although there have been previous tournaments staged in tropical countries like Brazil and Mexico during peak summer months, the temperatures are nothing compared to the searing near-50 degrees celsius prevailing in the desert conditions of Qatar during the June-July phase that could pose serious health issues for players. Hence, the decision to hold the tournament during winter months when temperatures in the desert nation becomes bearable.

The move to hold the Cup during winter may clash with the schedules of major Leagues around the world, especially those of Europe. Another concern has been the coinciding of the Christmas season with the finishing stages of the Cup. This has been resolved by shortening the duration of the Qatar tournament to 28 days from the traditional duration of 32 days. So,the final match will be held on December 18 instead of December 23. The African Nations Cup of 2023 also could get disrupted and may probably move to June instead of the traditional January start. This is to save African players the trouble of a quick turnaround time.

Oil-rich Qatar is the smallest nation ever to stage a World Cup. It's the smallest nation to do so even population-wise. Uruguay, when it hosted the first World Cup in 1930 had a population of 1.9 million. Qatar currently has a population of just 1.8 million. While only 13 nations took part in the Uruguay World Cup, the 2022 version will host as many as 32 teams.

Despite controversies surrounding the selection of Qatar as the final candidate to host the Cup, few doubt the tiny nation's financial capabilities to hold a tournament of such size and scale. Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world at $145,000. It's sovereign fund has a staggering $115 billion dollars in assets and is the 12th largest among such funds of the world - astonishing for a country whose population size ranks the 142nd.

Qatar outbid countries like South Korea, Australia, Japan and the United States before finally being awarded the prestigious footballing event. The 2022 games will be held in 14 stadiums, the largest one being the Lusail Iconic Stadium with a capacity of 86,000 and the smallest being the Thani bin Jassim Stadium at Doha holding 25000 people. Lusail is the newest planned coastal city located 23 km north of capital, Doha. The opening and the final matches of the 2022 World Cup will be played out at the city's Iconic Stadium. All the remaining matches will be played at Doha-based stadiums.

With the 2022 Cup, Qatar becomes the first Asian Arab and Middle Eastern country to hold a sporting event of such magnitude.