EPFL to support legal action over 2022 World Cup switch

FIFA's decision to switch the 2022 Word Cup in Qatar to November and December has been condemned by Europe's top leagues.

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) has insisted it will support any legal action taken by an individual division following FIFA's decision to hold the 2022 World Cup final in November and December.

FIFA confirmed on Thursday that the final of the tournament will take place on December 18, serving as confirmation that the competition will be staged in the last two months of the year.

The switch has been made in an effort to avoid the soaring temperatures in Qatar in the traditional World Cup months of June and July, which can often climb above 40 degrees centigrade.

A November - December tournament will greatly affect the domestic leagues in Europe, with the Premier League and La Liga already voicing strong opposition to the change.

"The EPFL is very disappointed with the outcome and final decision of the FIFA Executive Committee to stage the World Cup in November/December 2022," a statement read.

"This is seriously damaging the European Leagues both from a sporting and financial standpoint.

"This decision raises serious questions about the motivations of many involved in the decision making process and further demonstrate the lack of good governance within international football governing bodies which are not taking into consideration the interests of the whole football family but solely those of their member associations.

"The Leagues are the ones directly impacted by this FIFA's decision. It is unthinkable that the Leagues are not part of the decision making structure concerning competitions' calendar which is one of their core competences. 

"The EPFL has the responsibility to protect the interest of all clubs including those that do not release players for the national associations' competitions. 

"There is still a great deal of work to be done seeking to lessen the very severe damage that this decision causes. In particular the need to tackle several issues such as the international match calendar 2018-2022, the leagues' ability to continue playing their domestic competitions during the World Cup as an option, the contractual agreement between clubs and players during such period and the impact on the Leagues' commercial interests, among others.

"Taking into consideration all these reasons, the EPFL is ready to support any legal actions that individual leagues may undertake in this respect in the near future."