FOOTBALL fans could be sitting down in pubs as early as at 10am to watch the first matches of the day at the World Cup in Qatar, it was revealed yesterday.
The other kick-offs for the 2022 tournament would be a lunchtime one at 1pm, another at 4pm before a potential evening match gets underway at 7pm.
3 England fans could be set to start drinking in pubs at 10am during the 2022 World Cup
To avoid the searing summer heat in the Gulf, FIFA has already agreed the tournament should be played in winter, when Qatar is three hours ahead of the UK.
Fans who travel out to the Middle East to watch the tournament will be seeing games that start at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and possibly a kick-off as late as 10pm.
Nasser al-Khater, assistant secretary general for the World Cup organising body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said: “There’s a proposition to hold four matches a day, one at 13:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 22:00 Doha time (GMT+3). This will be finalised with FIFA.
“We are currently planning for the matches per day, but also considering four a day as the weather and temperature will be good, and also all stadiums are enjoying air conditioning.”
Ian Whittaker – The Sun3 Fifa have announced match schedules for the tournament in Qatar
Under current plans Qatar will squeeze a 32-team tournament into 28 days, to minimise disruption to the European football leagues.
But FIFA boss Gianni Infantino is keen to increase it to a 48-team tournament which would entail Qatar sharing it with its neighbours.
However, the chances of this happening are small as Qatar has been subjected to an 18-month long diplomatic and trade blockade by a Saudi-led alliance.
Khater said four of the proposed eight stadiums would be finished by the end of next year.