The World Cup is less than six months away and the excitement is palpable for one of the most unique editions of the global showpiece in modern history.
Fans, pundits and various football figures have already started making predictions on how the event will turn out. Tickets are already being sold out and there are still thousands of fans on the queue.
In anticipation of the upcoming showpiece, here is everything you need to know about the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the complete schedule, and some fun facts about the schedule.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Schedule, Fixture & PDF Download
|November 21||Senegal vs Netherlands||Group A||Al Thumama Stadium, Doha||5:00 AM|
|November 21||England vs Iran||Group B||Khalifa International Stadium||8:00 AM|
|November 21||Qatar vs Ecuador||Group A||Al Bayt Stadium||11:00 AM|
|November 21||United States vs. Wales||Group B||Al Rayyan Stadium||2:00 PM|
|November 22||Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia||Group C||Lusail Stadium||5:00 AM|
|November 22||Denmark vs. Tunisia||Group D||Education City Stadium||8:00 AM|
|November 22||Mexico vs. Poland||Group C||Stadium 974||11:00 AM|
|November 22||France vs. Australia||Group D||Al Wakrah Sports Complex||2:00 PM|
|November 23||Morocco vs. Croatia||Group F||Al Bayt Stadium||5:00 AM|
|November 23||Germany vs. Japan||Group E||Khalifa International Stadium||8:00 AM|
|November 23||Spain vs. Costa Rica||Group E||Al Thumama Stadium||11:00 AM|
|November 23||Belgium vs. Canada||Group F||Al Rayyan Stadium||2:00 PM|
|November 24||Switzerland vs. Cameroon||Group G||Al Wakrah Sports Complex||5:00 AM|
|November 24||Uruguay vs. South Korea||Group H||Education City Stadium||8:00 AM|
|November 24||Portugal vs. Ghana||Group H||Stadium 974||11:00 AM|
|November 24||Brazil vs. Serbia||Group G||Lusail Stadium||2:00 PM|
|November 25||Wales vs. Iran||Group B||Al Rayyan Stadium||5:00 AM|
|November 25||Qatar vs. Senegal||Group A||Al Thumama Stadium||8:00 AM|
|November 25||Netherlands vs. Ecuador||Group A||Khalifa International Stadium||11:00 AM|
|November 25||England vs. USA||Group B||Al Bayt Stadium||2:00 PM|
|November 26||Tunisia vs. Australia||Group D||Al Wakrah Sports Complex||5:00 AM|
|November 26||Poland vs. Saudi Arabia||Group C||Education City Stadium||8:00 AM|
|November 26||France vs. Denmark||Group D||Stadium 974||11:00 AM|
|November 26||Argentina vs. Mexico||Group C||Lusail Stadium||2:00 PM|
|November 27||Japan vs. Costa Rica||Group E||Al Rayyan Stadium||5:00 AM|
|November 27||Belgium vs. Morocco||Group F||Al Thumama Stadium||8:00 AM|
|November 27||Croatia vs. Canada||Group F||Khalifa International Stadium||11:00 AM|
|November 27||Spain vs. Germany||Group E||Al Bayt Stadium||2:00 PM|
|November 28||Cameroon vs. Serbia||Group G||Al Wakrah Sports Complex||5:00 AM|
|November 28||South Korea vs. Ghana||Group H||Education City Stadium||8:00 AM|
|November 28||Brazil vs. Switzerland||Group G||Stadium 974||11:00 AM|
|November 28||Portugal vs. Uruguay||Group H||Lusail Stadium||2:00 PM|
|November 29||Netherlands vs. Qatar||Group A||Al Bayt Stadium||10:00 AM|
|November 29||Ecuador vs. Senegal||Group A||Khalifa International Stadium||10:00 AM|
|November 29||Wales vs. England||Group B||Al Rayyan Stadium||2:00 PM|
|November 29||Iran vs. United States||Group B||Al Thumama Stadium||2:00 PM|
|November 30||Tunisia vs. France||Group D||Education City Stadium||10:00 AM|
|November 30||Australia vs. Denmark||Group D||Al Wakrah Sports Complex||10:00 AM|
|November 30||Poland vs. Argentina||Group C||Stadium 974||2:00 PM|
|November 30||Saudi Arabia vs. Mexico||Group C||Lusail Stadium||2:00 PM|
|December 1||Croatia vs. Belgium||Group F||Al Rayyan Stadium||10:00 AM|
|December 1||Canada vs. Morocco||Group F||Al Thumama Stadium||10:00 AM|
|December 1||Japan vs. Spain||Group E||Khalifa International Stadium||2:00 PM|
|December 1||Costa Rica vs. Germany||Group E||Al Bayt Stadium||2:00 PM|
|December 2||South Korea vs. Portugal||Group H||Education City Stadium||10:00 AM|
|December 2||Ghana vs. Uruguay||Group H||Al Wakrah Sports Complex||10:00 AM|
|December 2||Cameroon vs. Brazil||Group G||Lusail Stadium||2:00 PM|
|December 2||Serbia vs. Switzerland||Group G||Stadium 974||2:00 PM|
Interesting facts about the World Cup 2022 schedule
The host nation, Qatar, won the rights at the FIFA Congress which took place on December 2, 2010. It is the last World Cup to have 32 participating teams because FIFA have planned to expand the global showpiece to 48 teams in the 2026 World Cup which will be hosted by Canada, Mexico and the USA of the CONCACAF region.
Here are some more interesting facts about the schedule.
- Fixtures were not released until the draw was completed for the first time in World Cup history.
- One stadium will play host to at least three groups.
- The opening match is reminiscent of the 2002 World Cup, the last one to be hosted by an Asian nation. In that tournament, Senegal and France played the first game while the hosts South Korea/Japan played later. In this tournament, Senegal and The Netherlands will open the tournament while the hosts Qatar will face Ecuador later.
- The opening ceremony will be held just before Qatar’s first match.
When was the World Cup schedule finalized?
The schedule for Qatar 2022 was decided on July 15, 2020, the second anniversary of France’s triumph at the 2018 tournament.
The times for the matches as decided by FIFA on that day are as follows:
- Group stages: 13:00 (1 PM), 16:00 (4 PM), 19:00 (7 PM), and 22:00 (10 PM).
- Simultaneous last round of group stage games: 18:00 (6 PM) and 22:00 (10 PM).
- Knockout games: 18:00 (6 PM) and 22:00 (10 PM).
- Third place and final: 18:00 (6 PM).
All times mentioned are local Arabia Standard Time (AST).
How many matches will there be at the 2022 World Cup?
Fans will be treated to 65 thrilling matches to decide the 22nd winner of the World Cup.
The first match will be held on November 21, 2022 and the final will be held on Qatar’s National Day, December 18, 2022.
The tournament will start as usual with 32 teams which will be cut down to 16 after three rounds of matches. The 16 teams will then play in knockout rounds until the semi-finals where the losing teams will face each other for third place and the winning teams will face each other to determine the champion.
As usual, games in the knockout rounds that end in a tie will have 30 minutes of extra time and will go to penalties if the match still ends in a tie.
Where will the matches take place?
The group stages start on the opening day of the tournament, November 21, and will run until December 2. The round of 16 begins from December 3 to 6. The quarter-finals will run from December 9 to 10, and the semi-finals from December 13 to 14.
The semi-finalists will then face each other for third place on December 17, and the winner will be crowned at the final on December 18.
The Qatar 2022 World Cup is unique for a number of reasons, among which is its compact nature. There is no need for air travel to venues for both fans and teams as all the stadiums are in close proximity to each other.
There are eight stadiums which will host the World Cup: Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Iconic Stadium, Stadium 974, Education City Stadium and Al Janoub Stadium.
The stadiums will host the following matches:
- Al Bayt Stadium – Group A, Group B, Group E, Group F, Round of 16, quarter final, semi final
- Khalifa International Stadium – Group A, Group B, Group E, Group F, Round of 16, third-place playoff.
- Al Thumama Stadium – Group A, Group B, Group E, Group F, Round of 16, quarter final
- Ahmad bin Ali Stadium – Group B, Group E, Group G, Round of 16
- Lusail Iconic Stadium – Group C, Group G, Group H, Round of 16, quarter final, semi final, final
- Stadium 974 – Group C, Group D, Group G, Group H, Round of 16
- Education City Stadium – Group C, Group D, Group H, Round of 16, quarter final
- Al Janoub Stadium – Group D, Group G, Group H, Round of 16
Wales and Ukraine qualification
Wales have already qualified for the tournament after beating Ukraine by a lone goal on Sunday June 5, 2022.
Ukraine fought to return to the pitch following an imposed break on football – and life in general – in the country due to the Russian invasion of their country.
Ukraine showed grit to dispatch Scotland 3-1 and set up a match with Wales for a chance at their first World Cup appearance since 2006. However, Wales, who had not been to the World Cup since 1964 wanted it more and sealed a famous and emotional victory over Ukraine.
Following Wales’ qualification, here are the groups for the upcoming showpiece.
- Group A: Qatar (hosts), Ecuador, Netherlands, Senegal
- Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales
- Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
- Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
- Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
- Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
- Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
- Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea
Groups D and E will be decided when Australia (Asia) takes on Peru (South America) and Costa Rica (North America) faces New Zealand (Oceania) in the last two inter-confederation playoffs on June 14.