The 2022 FIFA World Cup is now in the knockout rounds and with more teams leaving Qatar, many fans are wondering when club football will resume.
For the first time, this tournament forced leagues from around the world to take a break to accommodate the World Cup and the layoff of so many players.
This hiatus will be a major headache for the weeks and months to come as competitions try to make up for lost time.
Some leagues are also waiting longer than others to resume, with the resumption of top-flight club football being pushed back to late December and January 2023.
MORE: When will the Premier League return after the winter break?
When can the leagues resume after the World Cup?
While the current World Cup window runs until December 18, leagues can resume earlier if desired, with no firm rules preventing it.
However, competitions like the Premier League, which have many players at the World Cup, have no choice but to wait until the tournament is over to ensure their competition is not unfairly affected.
The majority of Europe’s top tier teams are expected to return just after the Christmas break on December 25th to allow players to recover after the World Cup and enjoy the family celebrations.
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 5, 2022
MORE: In which leagues have the most players been called up to the World Cup?
When will the leagues restart after the World Cup?
Among the top-flight leagues to quit for the 2022 World Cup, Australia’s A-League men appear to be among the first to return.
The 2022/23 A-League season resumes on December 9 – almost a full week ahead of other competitions around the world.
The Scottish Premiership resumes on December 15, the same date as the Saudi Pro League.
Those desperate for Premier League action will have to wait until Boxing Day on December 26 for games to resume.
The German Bundesliga is the last league to return, with the first game not scheduled until January 20.
A number of competitions such as Major League Soccer, J.League and K League are currently in a mid-season and will not be affected by the World Cup.
MORE: Which clubs had the most players called up for the World Cup?
|A league men||Australia/New Zealand||9th of December|
|Scottish Premiership||Scotland||15th December|
|Saudi Professional League||Saudi Arabia||15th December|
|Qatar Stars League||Qatar||December 22|
|First League||England||December 26th|
|league 1||France||December 28th|
|Series A||Italy||January 4th|
Why is the A-League Men restarting so early?
After just eight players left the competition for Qatar, the A-League men waste no time restarting.
The league was slated to rest for just three weeks at a time to avoid a larger game backlog after marring the headaches of previous COVID-19 seasons.
Australia’s World Cup players, who feature in the A-League Men, have already returned to their clubs following the Socceroos’ Round of 16 defeat by Argentina.
There will reportedly be a few up for grabs straight away, including Craig Goodwin, who is hoping the domestic competition will gain popularity given Australia’s good results in Qatar.
“We hope what we’ve achieved can help grow the game at home because the A-League is better than it’s been made out to be. The quality of Australian football is better than expected,” said Goodwin.
“It’s been a long time coming but hopefully what we’ve achieved can put Australian football on the map and help the game grow.”
‘𝙒𝙚 𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙖 𝙣𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣’
The Melbourne boys are back in town from their whirlwind @Soccer Experience!
It’s safe to say that the season returns in full steam this weekend 😤
The platform they deserve: https://t.co/gdJm9Vm8pW pic.twitter.com/xlyzPiVhAM
— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) December 6, 2022