With the World Cup kicking off on Nov 20 and finalized rosters coming out, all eyes will be on injuries that crop up. With Champions League play Tuesday seeing both Gavi and Heung-Min Son leave their respective matches with injuries both Spain and South Korea will be holding their breath hoping for the best outcome for their players. Other nations are dealing with this issue as well as . It’s a unique issue facing the World Cup in Qatar but it wasn’t supposed to be one when it was awarded to the desert nation as a summer World Cup before being shifted to the winter to play in cooler weather, disrupting soccer seasons worldwide in the process.
With matches kicking off as rosters are finalized in the next few weeks making the World Cup more tangible, it will be hard for players to not think about what will happen if they’re injured before getting their chance on the big stage.
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“I think it’s an absolute disgrace that the World Cup is in the position that it’s in. For lots of reasons. I think that it was corrupt that Qatar were given the World Cup, and we knew at the time when they campaigned on having it in the summer, it was impossible to have a World Cup in the summer due to the temperature,” CBS Sports analyst Jamie Carragher said about the winter World Cup in Qatar while talking with Thierry Henry.
“It gets moved to the situation where it is now in the middle of the season, and players who spend their whole lives dreaming of playing in the World Cup as we see with Son, Thierry just mentioned Gavi, players all around Europe and the world could get injured… an injury or a ten day injury is going to keep players out of the World Cup which should not be happening and it all started with FIFA giving them the World Cup in the first place. Then they’re moving it and obviously, the stuff that goes on in their countries are a completely different issue as well. But I think it’s absolutely disgusting.”
Usually players have a longer window to prepare for the summer World Cup, compared to a one week window between leagues finishing and the first match kicking off in Qatar. In a season of unprecedented challenges, we’re less than three weeks form seeing what new ones the World Cup will bring.