Ligue 1 confirms its schedule around the 2022 World Cup

Ligue 1 has confirmed that the 2022/23 season will only be paused eight days before the start of the World Cup in Qatar next November, while domestic action will resume just 10 days after the final.

The World Cup is being held in northern hemisphere winter for the first time as a result of the soaring temperatures the Gulf state typically experiences in summer – often surpassing 40 Celsius.

That means it falls in the middle of the European club season. It also stands to disrupt the end of domestic competitions like MLS or the Brasileiro, which typically finish in December.

The final Ligue 1 matches before the World Cup will be played on 12 and 13 November 2022, with the first two games of the finals scheduled for 21 November. Every competing country will have played at least once by 24 November.

It gives players minimal time to transition from their club sides to international teams. In a normal World Cup calendar, that gap would usually be at least two weeks and often up to four or even five, depending on when individual domestic league seasons finish.

The 2022 World Cup final will be played on 18 December, with Ligue 1 action resuming on 28 December, less than 10 weeks later.

The French league is unlikely to be alone in its scheduling around the World Cup.

Ligue 1 has also reminded fans that the 2022/23 season will be its least with 20 clubs. Four teams will be relegated at the end of that campaign, with only two promoted from Ligue 2 in order to reduce the size of the division to just 18.

It was previously an 18-team league until 2002 when it was rebranded to Ligue 1 from Division 1. From 2023, it will more closely resemble the Bundesliga once more, where each club plays only 34 games in a full season as opposed to the 38 that are played in a 20-team league.

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