Four years after awarding hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, soccer’s world governing body took the unprecedented step of shifting the tournament to the end of the year, with the final to be played on Dec. 18. The World Cup will also be a shorter-than-usual 28 days, putting the expected start on Nov. 21.
FIFA confirmed the decision in Zurich on Thursday. The question had hung over the organization since 2010. But in recent weeks, it was only a matter of nailing down the date. As it happens, Dec. 18 is Qatar’s national day.