PDC has plan to avoid fight with football World Cup during World Championship
The PDC will ‘not pick a fight it can’t win’ when the World Darts Championship clashes with the football World Cup later this year.
The World Cup, controversially being hosted by the tiny state of Qatar, begins on November 21 and ends on December 18. That means the end of the tournament will overlap with the start of the annual darts extravaganza at the Alexandra Palace. PDC chief executive Matt Porter has said the tournament will not try and take on the World Cup for viewing figures and instead take sessions off for both semi-finals and the final.
“We’re not going to clash direction with semi-finals or the final. The third place play-offs, I don’t know if anybody cares,” Porter told Online Darts TV. “But we won’t clash with semi-finals or the final, it’ll just be a session off.
"Whether it’s England, regardless of that, the World Cup is a global event. The World Championship darts is a global event, but it wouldn’t make good sense for us to go up against it. Nothing is as big as the football World Cup so don’t try and pick a fight you can’t win.”
The semi-finals in Qatar are scheduled to take place on December 13 and 14, a Tuesday and a Wednesday, with both kicking off at 7pm UK time. The final will be the following Sunday and will also kick-off at 7pm.
The exact dates for the World Darts Championship have not yet been announced, but Porter’s comments suggest the tournament will start before December 13, possibly the weekend before.
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Of more pressing concern for Porter and his team is finding a venue for October’s World Grand Prix. The event was due to return to the CityWest Hotel in Dublin, but that venue will probably be unavailable as it is set to be used to house Ukrainian refugees who have fled their country due to the ongoing invasion by Russia. Coventry and Leicester have hosted the Grand Prix over the last two years.
“It’s not looking great for the CityWest [to host the Grand Prix this year],” said Porter. “Listen, what they’re going to be doing is fantastic on a humanitarian level, which well exceeds darts, and it is absolutely right for them to do. But it does present us with a challenge to provide a home for the World Grand Prix.”
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