Football: Dec 18 the date for 2022 Qatar World Cup final

ZURICH (AFP) - Football’s governing body Fifa on Thursday approved holding the final of the controversial 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Dec 18 at the end of the first tournament held in the northern winter, a top official said.

Fifa is also aiming “in principle” for a tournament of just 28 days, four days shorter than previous World Cups, Fifa communications chief Walter de Gregorio told reporters after a meeting of the body’s executive.

He said the exact starting date would be decided after talks with federations and representatives of top clubs.

Fifa had to change from the traditional June-July World Cup because of the scorching summer temperatures in Qatar.

But the issue has caused months of debate within football’s leadership because of the disruption to national championships, particularly in Europe’s powerful leagues.

“The final will be on Dec 18. It is a Sunday and it is also the national day of Qatar,” de Gregorio said.

“In principle we try to play in 28 days. The next step will be to have different talks, especially related to the international calendar,” the official added.