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Top clubs face fixture pile-up due to Qatar World Cup disruption as draft schedule for 2022-23 season drawn up

·1 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Top Premier League clubs are facing an even more hectic schedule next season due to the disruption caused by the winter World Cup in Qatar.

A draft schedule for the 2022-23 campaign, which was due to be considered by clubs at a shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday morning, will see the season start a week earlier than usual, on August 6, and end a week later, on May 28.

The World Cup is being played from November 21 to December 18 to avoid searing summer temperatures in Qatar and players can expect to be released to their national teams a week before the start of the tournament, leading to a significant reshuffle of the calendar.

The Premier League and UEFA want to cram as many matches in as possible before the start of the tournament, with the European governing body planning to hold all six rounds of group games in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League before November 2.

Clubs competing in Europe will therefore play every midweek in September and October, outside of international breaks, including the EFL Cup third-round.

The FA Cup is being lined up for June 3, with the Champions League Final scheduled for June 10.

Domestic football will resume immediately after the World Cup Final, with the EFL Cup fourth-round scheduled just three days later, on December 21, and a full round of League matches on Boxing Day, which falls on a Monday.

Clubs want to approve the schedule as soon as possible to start planning pre-season tours but the proposals are likely to cause unease with managers and players, many of which have expressed concerns over the ever-increasing volume of matches.

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