With World Cup 2022 in Qatar looming this winter, European club football has had to modify continental domestic schedules to accommodate a full season, with a month-plus break for the tourney, before resuming afterward. Here are the schedules for the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and the top five leagues.
League play begins in early to mid-August for all five leagues with the Bundesliga beginning August 12-14, La Liga 12-14, Ligue-1 6-8, Premiership 6-8, and Serie A 13-14. The UCL group stage will begin on September 6th. National and continental Super Cups schedules will vary with a few just now being confirmed, but a season highlight, the British Community Shield, will be played today between Manchester City and Liverpool and will be held at King Power Stadium, at noon EST, live on ESPN+.
German perennial champions, Bayern Munich, will play DFB Pokal winners RB Leipzig for the DFL-Super Cup today (live at 2:30 pm, EST, on ESPN+) with first-round games for this year’s DFB Pokal already underway as of yesterday. After the World Cup league play will resume on January 20th and conclude on May 27th. This year, the promoted teams are: Schalke and Werder Bremen, while Arminia Bielefeld and Greuther Furth were relegated.
Spanish Football will resume play, post World Cup, on December 29th and conclude league play on June 3-4. The current Copa del Rey began last October, and the final will take place on April 29th. The new, four-team Supercopa will be played over January 11-15, 2023, at King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The featured teams will be finalists of last year’s Copa del Rey, Real Betis and Valencia, and last year’s two top league teams, Real Madrid and Barcelona. This La Liga year’s promoted teams are Almeria, Real Valladolid, and Girona, while the relegated ones are Alaves, Granada, and Levante.
French Football’s Trophee de Champions, to be disputed between PSG and Nantes will take place at Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel, live on BeIn Sports, tomorrow at 2:00 pm EST. The domestic competition will resume, post World Cup, on December 28th and conclude on June 17th. The Coupe de France will include Ligue 1 teams as of January 7, 2023, with the final played on April 29th. This year’s promoted teams are Ajaccio, Auxerre, and Toulouse and the relegated ones are Metz, Bordeaux, and Saint-Etienne. Next year Ligue 1 will be reduced to 18 teams so this year four teams will be relegated and two promoted.
The Premiership will resume, post World Cup, on December 26th and conclude on May 28th. This year’s promoted teams are Fulham, Bournemouth, and Nottingham Forest, while the relegated teams are Burnley, Watford, and Norwich City.
The Italian League will resume, post-World Cup, on January 4th, and conclude on June 24th. The Coppa Italia will begin in August with the lower-ranked teams competing while the top-eight teams will join the fray in January 2023. Somewhat confirmed is the fact that Serie A plans to hold a tournament for Italian clubs in the USA in November and December, during the break for the World Cup, and that the Suppercoppa Italiana will feature AC Milan v Inter Milan, also to be played in Saudi Arabia in January 2023.
Continental Club Competitions
The group-stage draw for UEFA Champions League will be on August 25th, Europa League and Europa Conference League draws will be the following day. Fixture dates for the group stage are Matches-1-6: September 6-8 and 13-15, October 4-6, 11-13, and 25-27, and November 1-3. The knockout stage schedule is to be determined but the finals for the three tournaments are as follows: Europa League, May 31 in Budapest, Hungary, Europa Conference League, June 7, in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Champions League, June 10, in Istanbul, Turkey.
The UEFA Super Cup, featuring Real Madrid v Eintracht Frankfurt will take place at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Iceland on August 10th, while confirmation is still pending on the location and schedule of the FIFA Club World Cup, which will feature Real Madrid and either the old format of additional teams or the newly expanded one with 24 teams.
What remains of the UEFA Nations League will be played in late September with the finals in June 2023. In the interim, Qatar’s World Cup will kick off on November 20 and conclude on December 18, 2022. Meanwhile, qualification matches for the 2024 European Championship, to be held in Germany, run from March 2023 through November. The draw for qualifying is to be held on October 9, 2022, in Frankfurt.
Photo: Qatar, FIFA World Cup 2022 logo, wiki commons.