It’s nearly eight years from now, but the 2022 World Cup in Qatar remains a regular conversation topic due to its searing heat and controversial hosting duties.
A FIFA official considering a run for presidency says the 2022 World Cup can still be held in the summer if the tournament follows his idea of starting the games at 7pm local time… and concluding them around 3:30am.
That would mean another great run of viewing times for the United States audience, but a possible nightmare for players.
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7pm in Doha is Noon in New York, which means Harold Mayne-Nicholls’ plan would have three-match days holding starts times of Noon, 3pm and 6pm ET.
Mayne-Nicholls was the president of Chile’s football association until 2010 and also a FIFA official. His idea also involves a slight summer calendar change. From the BBC:
“You could move it towards May, until the middle of June”, he said.
“The weather would still be very warm at night, but the sun is not there and that could help.
“I know it’s not easy. We’d sleep during the day and work during the night.
“It’s only an idea. You’d have to investigate a little bit more.
“I have never played in Qatar in May. Let’s organise a youth tournament, invite countries from all the confederations, and let’s use this time to see if it works.”
It’s easy to say, “Works for me”, but the States audience is less important than the States team. They’d adjust to the clock shift as they would for any tournament, but internal clocks don’t quite find 1am kickoffs a real hoot.
Mayne-Nicholls plan could work… or they could just move the tournament.