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A Winter World Cup Is The Worst Idea FIFA Has Ever Had

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A Winter World Cup Is The Worst Idea FIFA Has Ever Had

Well then England fans, unless you're mad keen on watching a pointless battle between Belgium and England, at the end of which nobody can truly be the winner (nope, can't see any obvious parallels to be drawn there), it's all over for another four years, at least.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

With England crashing out of the World Cup against Croatia earlier in the week, Gareth Southgate's Young Lions are left to lick their wounds and wonder where they went wrong.

They made the country proud, but they essentially blew the best chance that England have had in over 20 years to go all the way.

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There is a wider context to consider here. This year's World Cup in Russia could be the last chance. This could be the last 'good' World Cup.

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Obviously, we can't see into the future, there might be loads of fantastic World Cups to come in later generations, but with the next World Cup being in Qatar, and then in the event in USA/Canada/Mexico being potentially expanded to 48 teams - for reasons only known to the FIFA decision makers - we could be reaching the end of the last 'classic' World Cup.

That next World Cup really winds a lot of people up though, because not only is Qatar a country with a questionable human rights record, but a shady bidding process gave them the World Cup in the first instance - and then they moved it to take place between 21 November and 18 December in 2022.

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That's like moving Christmas to July, right? Or moving football Christmas to - well - ACTUAL Christmas. Bloody hell.

Of course, this is because it's unsafe to play in the kind of heat that Qatar gets during the summer months. It averages up in the 40s for the month of July.

A visual metaphor hangs above the city of Doha. Credit: PA
A visual metaphor hangs above the city of Doha. Credit: PA

While it would seem unfair to say that no country should have the World Cup if it gets that hot in July, at the same time: no country should have the World Cup if it gets that hot in July.

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The World Cup is supposed to be about hazy summer days, drinking beer outside watching Morocco vs Chile in a sizzling Group F fixture.

If you move that to Christmas, what are we supposed to do for our regular mid-summer fix of football that actually matters? Pick a team in the Allsvenskan? Get real.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

That's before we even reach the main problem. Christmas is about club football. In fact, it's the best part of the whole club season. Forget the bleary-eyed freshness of the early season, or the growing listlessness and general 'on the beach' vibe at the end of season.

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The Christmas period is where the title is won or lost, and where teams in the Premier League, at least, are ground into submission by playing three games a week for three weeks.

This is literally where we find out if a team can do it on a wet Tuesday night in Stoke (although not any more).

FIFA have robbed us twice. They've robbed us of the summer joys of a World Cup, and the wintery bliss of constant football in the warmth of a pub.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Are we going to stand for this? Well, probably.

Are we going to keep letting FIFA dictate what happens in football while they dismantle all of the things that are good about it? Almost definitely.

A very wise man once said that football without the fans is nothing. At what point do we realise this? The power is not with the money men, but with the people who give them their money. Us.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Winter, SPORT, Christmas, Russia 2018, Football, FIFA, Premier League, Qatar 2022

Tom Wood
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