Some things in life are constant and practically untouchable. One of those things is the Premier League fixture list between Christmas and New Year, which is almost as traditional as the festive holidays themselves in England. But with the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup scheduled for winter, due to the intense Middle East heat during the summer months, this inevitably led to a conundrum for practically every domestic and continental competition.
Throughout most of continental Europe, competitions and leagues usually take a minimum two-week winter break, conveniently intended to coincide with the festive period and avoid postponements caused by inclement weather. However, in the traditional British home of the beautiful game, neither of the two world wars nor a global pandemic have prevented football being played at Christmas.
Indeed, throughout World War II, special matches were organised to keep morale high amongst the public and troops. Despite serving in the military, some professional footballers took part in high-profile exhibition matches, inter-service and inter-unit football matches were also commonplace. Football helped maintain fitness and was used to encourage workplace productivity, along with becoming an increasingly important form of civilian recreation.
With the FA Cup cancelled during wartime, the Football League established the War Cup to boost morale and keep the game going.
45,000 fans saw @pnefc win it at Ewood Park in 1941, defeating Arsenal in a replay.
— Nat. Football Museum (@FootballMuseum) May 8, 2020
Even during the height of the global COVID pandemic, although matches were played in empty stadiums, English football continued largely uninterrupted through the winter months of the 2020-21 season. This included the busiest time of the year during the festive period at Christmas, as the majority of professional teams played two or even three games, between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Since the inaugural 1930 World Cup in Uruguay, all the following tournaments have been held in the months of May, June and July. This has largely suited the domestic and continental club football competitions, as those months usually fall between their domestic and continental seasons, particularly in the widely acknowledged powerbase of club football in Europe. Previously, dates for the World Cup have only required scheduling adaptions.
Nevertheless, after the international federations insisted that playing in Qatar during the summer months was completely impractical, not to mention being a potential risk to the health of players, FIFA was forced to consider alternative dates for the World Cup tournament. Instead, the months of November and December 2022 were considered ideal for the local climate, although this inevitably led to considerable rescheduling of domestic competitions.
To accommodate the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which is being played right in the middle of the English domestic fixture calendar, the Premier League has now adjusted their 2022-23 scheduling plans. The 2022-23 Premier League will commence on 6 August 2022, while the break in fixtures will come following match round 16, due to be played over the weekend of 12-13 November, just ahead of the first Qatar 2022 match on 21 November.
Next season’s dates have been confirmed ✅
The #PL season will start on 6 August 2022 and finish on May 28 2023.
There will be a mid-season break between 14 November and 26 December to accommodate the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 11, 2021
Although the Premier League is working on a very fine margin, given that international players must reporting their availability to national reams by 14 November, they have clearly focused on the minimum of disruption to their own competition. This includes the coveted and hugely popular Christmas fixture schedule, which will now remain largely unaffected by the World Cup taking place shortly beforehand.
As one of the most popular days in the English football calendar, following the World Cup, fixtures in the Premier League will resume on precisely 26 December, which means the festive bonanza that is Boxing Day will proceed as normal. For the legion of Premier League football fans in England and around the whole world, that’s great news. Especially given that most European league will maintain their habitual winter break, before resuming in January.
This is great news for lovers of English football everywhere, wherever they are located around the globe. Not only does the Premier League attract the biggest audiences internationally, compared to most other domestic football competitions, the compact and traditional scheduling also makes games even more appealing. Especially to anyone who is familiar with watching live games, while taking a punt on the outcomes.
Another constant will be the regularly updated list of the very best betting sites available, which SBO maintains and changes frequently, keeping football fans and bettors fully abreast of where the best odds and bonuses can be found. This is accompanied by in-depth reviews for all the leading betting sites, including listings for many different countries. Whichever teams you support and back, this is always useful to have at hand when following the Premier League.