World Cup 2022: Dates, draw, schedule, kick-off times, final for Qatar tournament
Gio Reyna #11 of the United States is marked by Daniel Chacon #6 of Costa Rica during a FIFA World Cup qualifier game at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica on March 30, 2022 in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Brad Smith | ISI Photos | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images
From key dates to kick-off times, here’s all you need to know about this year’s tournament.
When and where is the 2022 World Cup?
The 2022 World Cup is taking place in Qatar in the winter months rather than the usual summer ones, due to the heat.
The tournament kicks off on Monday November 21 at the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor when hosts Qatar take on Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium.
England will also feature on the first day with their Group B match against Iran scheduled to take place just eight days after the Premier League shuts down.
The final will be played at the Lusail Stadium in Doha a week before Christmas on Sunday December 18.
Who has qualified so far?
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29 of the 32 nations who will appear at the tournament are now known.
As hosts, Qatar received automatic qualification to next year’s tournament.
Four-time World Cup winners Germany were the first team to guarantee a spot through the qualification process in Europe, while Brazil – the most successful national team in World Cup history with five trophies – secured swift qualification as one of the top four teams in South America’s groups.
England secured their place in November by topping their qualifying group.
Canada qualified for the World Cup finals for just the second time, beating Jamaica 4-0 to book their ticket to Qatar and end 36 years of failure and heartache.
Mexico and the United States also qualified for the World Cup in their final qualifier, and Senegal, Ghana, Tunisia, Morocco and Cameroon were among the final countries to book their places at Qatar 2022. Sadio Mane scored the winning kick as Senegal beat Egypt 3-1 on penalties, with Mo Salah among the Egyptian players to miss their spot-kicks.
In Europe, Portugal and Poland progressed to the finals after winning their play-off finals against North Macedonia and Sweden respectively. The third and final European play-off, which will feature Wales against Scotland or Ukraine, has been delayed until June.
Who will be the final three countries to qualify?
Wales, Scotland or Ukraine will be at the World Cup as play-off winners.
Meanwhile, the intercontinental play-offs will be contested on 13-14 June in Qatar with Australia or UAE or Peru plus Costa Rica or New Zealand taking the two remaining places.
UEFA and Intercontinental play-offs:
- Wales vs Scotland or Ukraine
- Australia or United Arab Emirates vs Peru
- Costa Rica vs New Zealand
Because Scotland and Wales have been pitched in the same path, it means Scotland and Wales will play each other for a place at next year’s World Cup if Scotland progress past Ukraine in their delayed play-off semi-final.
What is the World Cup group draw?
- Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
- Group B: England, Iran, USA, European play-off*
- Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
- Group D: France, Intercontinental play-off 1*, Denmark, Tunisia
- Group E: Spain, Intercontinental play-off 2*, Germany, Japan
- Group F: Belgium, Ghana, Morocco, Croatia
- Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
- Group H: Portugal, Canada, Uruguay, South Korea
What is the World Cup format and schedule?
Image:France players celebrate winning the World Cup in Moscow in 2018
The 2022 World Cup will feature 32 teams in eight groups of four.
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Four matches will be played each day during the group stage, which will run over a 12-day period and see winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16.
Matches will only be assigned to particular venues after the finals draw, so organisers can choose optimal kick-off times to suit television audiences in different countries, as well as supporters out in Qatar.
Unlike at Euro 2020, there will be a third-place play-off game on December 17.
Group stage: November 21- December 2
Round of 16: December 3-6
Quarter-finals: December 9/10
Semi-finals: December 13/14
Final: December 18
When will the matches kick off?
FIFA has confirmed the first two rounds of matches will kick off at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm local time (10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm in the United Kingdom).
Kick-off times in the final round of group games and knock-out round matches will be at 6pm and 10pm local time (3pm and 7pm UK time).
The final is scheduled to kick off at 6pm local time (3pm UK time)
What are the venues?
The group games will take place across eight stadia: Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Education City Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium.
What will happen with the Premier League?
The Premier League has confirmed key dates for the 2022/23 campaign, with the season adjusted to accommodate a World Cup that takes place in the middle of the domestic calendar.
The season will start a week earlier than normal on August 6 2022, with 16 matchdays taking place up to the weekend of November 12/13, before the tournament kicks off on November 21.
The Premier League will resume on Boxing Day following the World Cup final, which takes place on December 18.
The final match round of the 2022/23 season will be played on May 28 2023.
Key World Cup, Premier League, Scottish Premiership dates
April – World Cup draw.
July 30 – Scottish Premiership season starts along with the EFL Championship, League One and League Two.
August 6 – Premier League season starts.
November 12-13 – Final round of Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premiership matches before the World Cup.
November 21 – World Cup starts.
December 2 – Final set of group stage matches.
December 3-6 – The round of 16 starts.
December 9-10 – The quarter-finals.
December 10 – The Championship resumes.
December 13-14 – World Cup semi-finals.
December 17 – The Scottish Premiership resumes.
December 18 – World Cup final.
December 26 – The Premier League resumes.