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Fifa announces World Cup final date

The final match of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be played on December 18, the country's national holiday.

Fifa spokesman Walter De Gregorio confirmed the date but did not say when the tournament would start. He says the governing body's executive committee prefers a 28-day tournament starting on November 21.

Mr De Gregorio said the executive committee could confirm the kick-off date on Friday.

By rejecting Uefa's preferred December 23 final, the Fifa executive committee helped protect the English Premier League's traditional December 26 programme.

A 28-day World Cup, four days fewer than usual, cuts the time clubs must release players to national teams.

Qatar bid to stage the tournament in the traditional June-July slot when it was chosen as host in December 2010.

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