How Students Feel About A Winter Football World Cup
Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images

How Students Feel About A Winter Football World Cup

Alex Fletcher May 18, 2022

So here we are. We’re all geared up and ready to go for summer 2022. The first summer in a few years that will not, fingers crossed, be affected whatsoever by Covid 19. Sunny skies, beer gardens, days spent at the park or the beach, it’s the stuff that students dream of. And of course the highlight of all of this is the wonderful, exciting, emotionally draining event that is the 2022 FIFA World Cup! 

Oh, hang on a minute, that can’t be right, November?!

A different kind of tournament

Many people, including myself, still can’t quite believe the news that came out of the footballing world a few years ago. The 2022 World Cup, hosted by Qatar, will be held in the winter months rather than the summer. The reasoning behind this is clear. Holding a tournament in the middle of summer in the desert isn’t just uncomfortable, it would be downright dangerous. Even so, how on earth could FIFA award a tournament to a country that can’t seem to actively sustain one. Never mind the controversies surrounding human rights abuses in Qatar. Despite all of this, Qatar remains the host nation for the first ever football World Cup tournament not to take place in the summer. 

Photo by Radoslaw Prekurat on Unsplash

I think I, as a keen football fan, have made my feelings clear about the 2022 World Cup being hosted in Qatar. But I wanted to get the opinions of other football fans about this unique timing for a tournament. First of all I spoke to Charlie, who was very clear about how he felt. He said: ‘The World Cup is synonymous with summer football. Pausing all top major domestic leagues all because you couldn’t hold it in the summer due to it literally being a health risk is nonsense’.

The fact that November and December are the months of normal club football means that the leagues will take a break during this period.

The passion will come regardless

Having spoken to Charlie, I also sat down with George who stated that he, ‘disapproves of the mid-season interruption but predicts to be in the World Cup spirit when the time does eventually come around’.

I found this an interesting take from George who, despite being against the tournament, feels that as a football fan he will still be excited about a World Cup. This led on to another interesting opinion from an anonymous interviewee who stated that, ‘swapping hot chocolate for beers blankets and sunbeds may just be the kickstart needed to reboot global football’. This individual clearly feels that non-football fans may be more interested in the winter tournament. 

To summarise, it’s no surprise to anyone that the majority of football fans disapprove of a winter World Cup. The joy, and indeed the pain, of the European Championships last summer is still in the memories of many football fans, especially in the UK.

With all the controversies surrounding the bid, as well as the location itself, it really does feel like the magic of football is being saturated for monetary gain. However, as football fans, will we still all be watching? Without a shadow of a doubt!

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Hi, my name is Alex Fletcher. I’m a second year history and politics student at the University of Birmingham, originally from Portsmouth. My main passion is sport and I am a big supporter of Portsmouth football club and the McLaren F1 team. I also take an avid interest in music, theatre, politics and current affairs and I have a strong passion for writing and presenting.