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Qatar 2022: World Cup logo revealed

The official emblem of the competition, designed after a shawl, emphasises the cultural identity of the host nation
The tournament will be held in the Middle East for the first time since its inception in 1930 (Reuters)

For the first FIFA World Cup ever played during the winter, the logo will be... a shawl. 

Qatar will host the World Cup in winter 2022, bringing the tournament to the Middle East for the first time since its inception in 1930.

The official emblem of the competition, revealed on Tuesday, features floral patterns, Arabic calligraphy and geometric patterns that emphasise the cultural identity of the host nation and the wider region, Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, which is tasked with organising the tournament, said.

"The emblem was inspired by traditional woolen shawls worn during the winter months - when the FIFA World Cup 2022 will take place - in Qatar and around the world," the organising committee said in a statement.

"Like football, the shawls' popularity is a unifying force, woven into the everyday fabric of people's lives."

The World Cup is usually held between June and July, but due to concerns over Qatar's scorching summer temperatures, FIFA decided to hold the 2022 tournament in the winter.

The next competition will take place from 21 November to 18 December 2022.

The logo also takes on the shape of the World Cup trophy and the infinity symbol, as well as the number eight - that's the number of stadiums that will host matches during the competition, the committee explained in a graphic released on Tuesday. 

The top left side of the emblem features dots symbolising the markings that appear above some letters in Arabic script.

'Like football, the shawls' popularity is a unifying force, woven into the everyday fabric of people's lives'

- Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy

Those dots flank a football that contains a geometric pattern popular in Arabic embroidery.

Below the logo, "Qatar 2022" is written out in a style resembling Arabic calligraphy; the letters are tied together and elongated.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will feature 32 teams from across the world, which will gain their spots in the tournament after winning in the qualifying stages, set to begin in autumn 2020.

Qatar, which had never made it to the World Cup, will qualify as the host country.

Earlier this year, Qatar beat Japan in the final of the Asian Cup to win its first major international trophy. 

The competition is held every four years.

FIFA has faced criticism over handing the organising rights of the tournament to Qatar. Domestic football leagues, including Spain's popular La Liga, have objected to moving the World Cup to the winter, which will force them to halt the 2021/2022 season for weeks.

Rights groups have also criticised Qatar over "serious abuses" against migrant labourers working on World Cup-related projects, including restrictions on freedom of movement. 

But Doha has pledged to improve labour conditions in the country ahead of the competition.