The 2022 FIFA World Cup is now in the knockout stages and with more teams heading to Qatar, many fans are beginning to wonder when club football will resume.
For the first time, the tournament forced leagues around the world to pause to accommodate the World Cup and the release of many players.
This pause will cause major headaches in the coming weeks and months as competitions try to make up for lost time.
Some leagues wait longer than others to restart, so the resumption of top-flight club football could be staggered in late December and January 2023.
MORE: When does Premier League return after 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 they want without any rules.
However, competitions such as 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 compromised.
Most of the first-division European leagues are set to resume after the Christmas break on December 25, giving players some time to recover and enjoy family celebrations after the World Cup.
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 5, 2022
MORE: Which leagues called up the most players to the World Cup?
When will the leagues resume after the World Cup?
Among the top-flight leagues suspended for the 2022 World Cup, Australia’s A-League men’s looks set to be one of the first to return.
The A-League’s 2022/23 season will resume on December 9 – almost a week before other competitions around the world.
The Scottish Premiership will resume on December 15, the same date as the Saudi Pro League.
Those looking for some Premier League action will have to wait until Boxing Day on December 26 for matches to resume.
Germany’s Bundesliga is the latest league to return with its first match not scheduled until January 20.
Many competitions such as Major League Soccer, J.League and K League are currently in between seasons and are not affected by the World Cup.
MORE: Which clubs have called up the most players to the World Cup?
|competition||country||Date of Return|
|A-League Men||Australia/New Zealand||December 9|
|Scottish Premiership||Scotland||December 15|
|Saudi Pro League||Saudi Arabia||December 15|
|Qatar Stars League||Qatar||December 22|
|Premier League||England||December 26|
|Ligue 1||France||December 28|
|La Liga||Spain||December 29|
|Serie A||Italy||January 4|
|Eredivisie||The Netherlands||January 6|
Why are A-League men resuming so quickly?
The A-League men are biding their time without resuming as the competition saw eight players depart for Qatar.
The league was always only going to be suspended for three weeks to avoid a large competition backlog after the headaches of previous COVID-19-affected seasons.
Australia’s World Cup players in the A-League men’s line-up have already returned to their clubs after the Socceroos’ Round of 16 loss to Argentina.
Some hope the domestic competition will boost popularity as a result of Australia’s good results in Qatar, with Craig Goodwin reportedly among them to be selected soon.
“We’re hoping what we’ve achieved will help grow the game back home as the A-League is better than we realised. “The standard of Australian football is better than it realizes,” Goodwin said.
“It’s been that way for a long time, but hopefully what we’ve achieved can put Australian football on the map and help grow the game.”
The Melbourne boys have returned from their whirlwind trip to the city @socceros Experience!
It’s safe to say it’s full steam ahead of the season that returns this weekend 😤
The platform they deserve: https://t.co/gdJm9Vm8pW pic.twitter.com/xlyzPiVhAM
— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) December 6, 2022