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How could change to FIFA World Cup start date effect Manchester City players

Harry Winters

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| Last updated 

How could change to FIFA World Cup start date effect Manchester City players

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy

FIFA are reportedly considering changing the start date of the upcoming World Cup.

The 2022 World Cup, controversially taking place in Qatar this winter, will be the 22nd edition of the tournament.

Domestic leagues across Europe will halt for over a month later this year, as players travel to the Middle East to compete in the first ever winter World Cup.

Taking place across November and December due to the warm temperatures in Qatar, the tournament was scheduled to begin on Monday 21st November.

The tournament is now expected to begin on November 20 (Image: Alamy)
The tournament is now expected to begin on November 20 (Image: Alamy)

However, it has been widely reported that the competition could now kick-off one day earlier, on Sunday 20th November.

The change, which would see host nation Qatar play Ecuador in the opening match at the Al Bayt Stadium one day earlier than previously planned, is awaiting approval from the bureau of the FIFA Council.

The group, which is made up of the six FIFA confederation Presidents and Gianni Infantino, will have the final decision.

Allowing the host nation to play on the Sunday would follow the longstanding tradition of the host nation playing the first fixture of the tournament.

BBC Sport commentator Ian Dennis reported that a change to the schedule wouldn’t alter the player release date, with up to 17 Manchester City players potentially going to feature in the tournament.

The Sky Blues will play 16 Premier League fixtures, six UEFA Champions League Group Stage matches and a Carabao Cup knockout match before the hiatus.

City's final match prior to the World Cup is due to take place on Saturday 12th November, with Pep Guardiola's side welcoming Brentford to the Etihad Stadium.

The Premier League Champions resume their league campaign on Boxing Day, when they travel to Elland Road to face Leeds United.

Late changes to the World Cup schedule is not expected to have a huge effect on Manchester City squad members, as none represent either Qatar or Ecuador.

England's opening group game against Iran, which could involve five City stars, would be unaffected - remaining a 13:00 kick-off from the Khalifa International Stadium.

Kalvin Phillips with Jack Grealish on England international duty.
Kalvin Phillips with Jack Grealish on England international duty.

One fixture which would reportedly be moved in the Netherlands' Grup A clash with Senegal, involving Blues defender Nathan Ake.

That match would be moved to Monday 21st November, should FIFA approve the proposed changes.

Nathan Ake in UEFA Nations League action (Image: Xinhua/Alamy)
Nathan Ake in UEFA Nations League action (Image: Xinhua/Alamy)

Topics: Manchester City, Football World Cup, Premier League, England, Netherlands

Harry Winters
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