SPFL plans month-long break for Premiership to coincide with World Cup

Games will stop in November and resume a week before Christmas.

SPFL plans month-long break for Premiership to coincide with World Cup SNS Group

The SPFL is liaising with clubs before finalising a month-long break for the Scottish Premiership to coincide with the World Cup in Qatar next year.

The current plan is to kick off the season during the last weekend of July, then play up to the weekend of November 12, with the showpiece tournament – for which Scotland are in the process of trying to qualify – kicking off on Monday, November 21.

The Premiership would then aim to resume on Saturday, December 17, the day before the World Cup final, unless Scotland were to make it to the latter stages of the tournament.

The festive period is set to be particularly busy, with teams having to play as many as five games in 15 days between December 24 and January 7, including Christmas Eve and Hogmanay.

The League Cup final is set to be in February, with the Scottish Cup final and the play-offs in June, although there is still scope for adjustments to the proposed schedule.

SPFL company secretary and director of operations Calum Beattie said: “The staging of next year’s World Cup, which for the first time will be held in November and December, means we have to adjust our normal fixture calendar.

“We have been liaising with clubs in all four divisions, the Scottish FA and our colleagues across Europe. The release of the draft fixture schedule for next season will hopefully enable our clubs to plan ahead, although further adjustments are likely.

“At present, we plan to have a break in the cinch Premiership from November 14 to December 17 next year, the day before the World Cup final. However, we would, of course, be extremely happy if we are required to postpone games for another week because Scotland make the final!”

Discussions are ongoing regarding whether the Scottish lower leagues will take a break.

Beattie added: “We are continuing to consult with clubs in the cinch Championship, cinch League 1 and cinch League 2 as to whether there will be a break in those divisions and a further update will be provided towards the end of the year.”

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