Europe divided by Qatar World Cup begins unique football season

GENEVA (AP) – In the 134 years since league football began in England, European sport has never scheduled a season like this interrupted.

FIFA’s decision to move the World Cup in Qatar from the usual off-season months to November and December to escape the desert heat will be seen in the European domestic season in a way not seen outside international trauma such as war or the pandemic.

As a result, the unusual 2022–23 European season has had to start early, cram in more midweek games and end with the Champions League final on 10 June – the latest planned date since the inaugural European Cup final was 13 June. 1956.

It will also force domestic leagues to switch from six weeks in the English Premier League to a 10-week shutdown in Germany’s Bundesliga and three months in Austria, where the World Cup extends the country’s usual winter break.

Closing for peak business weeks is an agreement reluctantly accepted by European leagues and clubs in 2015. Then, FIFA essentially moved its marquee event from the normal June–July slot that is part of soccer’s global rhythm.

Here’s a look at the phenomenal 2022-23 season:

a unique world cup

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