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Qatar World Cup: how will national callups affect the game?

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Qatar World Cup: how will national callups affect the game?

For the first time in the history of football, the World Cup will be held in the winter schedule, let's see what that means for the game.


Elite football teams have just finished the 2021/2022 Premier League season and are now looking forward to the road leading to the Qatar World Cup this winter. Football, just like everything else, had to change and adjust over the course of the last two years due to the global health crisis.

As a result, the 2020/2021 campaign started a month late and the entire season was condensed in order to cram in all of the season’s football matches. This resulted in a number of players overexerting themselves and becoming injured, and a few teams falling apart organisationally. Now that football is back on track, however, it is time to look at how the national callups will affect the World Cup in Qatar.

National callups and the World Cup


The fact that the Qatar World Cup is set to occur during the winter will mean that the Premier League campaign will be completely disrupted. This is incredibly frustrating for fans who have previously enjoyed a continuous and well-organised alternation of Premier League campaigns and World Cup campaigns.

It is also likely to be disorientating for the players themselves, as they will be working with a number of different teams and needing to continually adjust their playing style accordingly. Not only that, but the travel plans and organisation of players and teams could potentially become something of a nightmare.

Players will have just a week to prepare with their national teams before they travel to Qatar for the World Cup. Following the World Cup, the players will have just eight days to recover if they are able to make it to the World Cup finals.

The executives from all 20 Premier League clubs met last summer in London to decide on the programme for 2022/2023. During this meeting, they drafted the schedule and decided that there would only be six weekends in the season without Premier League games.

Impact on the players


The virtual overlapping of Premier League games with the Qatar World Cup is likely to be tough on the players themselves. After a few years of disjointed schedules and awkward football seasons, most players want a return to normalcy and expected, regular schedules.

The fact that the World Cup and Premier League games are so close together means that the players are more likely to injure themselves because they will be exhausted and overworked. On top of that, with just a week to prepare with their national teams, they may be unable to truly connect with their national teammates in a way that will help them win. Many players are also likely to suffer from the twin discomforts of jetlag and extreme heat in Qatar, which will likely impact their performance on the field.

Anything to win…


While many Premier League players have expressed concern over the overlapping schedules, some other teams are taking… creative measures to get ahead. Just this week, it was discovered that Ecuador allegedly qualified a player for the World Cup, but the issue is that the player does not actually exist.

Although some have questioned the veracity of the discovered documents, others have argued that the registered player in question is not Ecuadorian and instead is Columbian. While Ecuador has submitted evidence to FIFA and requested a speedy resolution to the claims, this is just one of many such tactics that other countries have used throughout the years to get ahead at the World Cup. Thanks to digital technology and processing however, it is much more difficult to cheat than ever before.

The future of football


Football has been enjoyed by tens of millions of fans over the years and it is hardly surprising that football is now being enjoyed in new, innovative and technologically advanced ways. The rise of FIFA video games was certainly one indicator that football had a life off the pitch – and on the console.

In many respects, football as an online game has eclipsed football as a physical game because so many people play FIFA, place football bets online, and watch their favourite football games, moments and interviews all via digital platforms. One area which has skyrocketed in popularity has been sports betting on football matches.

There has been significant growth in sports betting around the world. Now more than ever before, gamblers are engaging with football directly by placing bets on various players, plays, aspects of the game and games. How the popularity of sports betting will work with Qatar’s conservative anti-betting legislation is likely going to be similar to the ban on drinking in the country.

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FM Blog: Qatar World Cup: how will national callups affect the game?
Qatar World Cup: how will national callups affect the game?
For the first time in the history of football, the World Cup will be held in the winter schedule, let's see what that means for the game.
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