Scottish Premiership will shut down for month during Qatar World Cup

By Richard WintonBBC Sport Scotland
Scotland celebrate
Scotland have reached the World Cup play-offs and could feature in Qatar

The SPFL has confirmed the Scottish Premiership will shut down for around a month next season in November and December to accommodate the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Clubs will hold 16 rounds of fixtures between 30 July and 13 November, before halting until 17 December - the day before the World Cup final.

The final round of top-flight matches will be on the weekend of 27-28 May 2023, with the Premiership play-off finals on 1 and 4 June. The Scottish Cup final is likely to be on 3 June.

The League Cup final will take place on 26 February, with the semi-finals on 14 and 15 January. This will be a change from recent seasons when the competition was completed in the first half of the season. The group stages will start on 9 and 10 July.

There will be a busy festive spell of fixtures, with clubs playing five matches in 15 days between 24 December and 7 January, including on Christmas Eve and Hogmanay, which are both Saturdays.

The lower leagues will continue during the top-flight shutdown, playing a combination of league, Scottish Cup and Challenge Cup matches.

In recent seasons, Premiership clubs have taken a two-week break after the festive period but this season's interval was brought forward as a result of temporary Covid measures.

Scotland have reached the World Cup play-offs and face Ukraine in their semi-final on 24 March, with the final five days later.

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