The 2022 FIFA World Cup held in Qatar will be unique in multiple ways. Most notably, the tournament is beginning in November and, thus, will interrupt European calendars and the English Premier League, among other competitions.
England’s top-flight will begin a break on Nov. 13 that will last through Christmas Day. Ahead of Friday’s Premier League season opener between Crystal Palace and Arsenal, managers Thomas Tuchel of Chelsea and Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool both criticized the inevitable disruption to the domestic calendar.
“It doesn’t make so much sense,” Tuchel explained, according to Reuters (h/t ESPN). “The players are very focused on the World Cup already which is a good thing because they come in shape and take care of themselves. But it’s also a bad thing because they are also focused on World Cup and not just here. We will see how it influences the players and their performances in October when it gets closer.
“It will have a huge impact emotionally and physically on the players, they will come back drained. Big success and huge disappointment can also drain them mentally, and then days later we have Boxing Day. I’m a bit uncertain about all this.”
Klopp said that “this World Cup happens at the wrong moment for the wrong reasons.”
“If you go to the final at a World Cup and win it or lose or a third-place match you are already quite busy and then the rest starts a week later,” Klopp added during comments. “If all the players then have a break it is not a problem, it is good. It is like a winter break which I had that in Germany as a player a lot, four weeks [off], stuff like that.”
Klopp continued: “My problem is that as much as everybody knows it’s not right, nobody talks often enough about it that it will be changed. Something has to change.”
Chelsea open their campaign Saturday versus Everton. Liverpool, meanwhile, will face Fulham earlier in the day. Both Chelsea and Liverpool are expected to compete for the league title this season.
The World Cup is scheduled to take place from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18.