World Cup 2022: Dates, draw, schedule, kick-off times, final for Qatar tournament

World Cup 2022: Dates, draw, schedule, kick-off times, final for Qatar tournament

From key dates to kick-off times, here’s all you need to know about next 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 with a match that will feature the host country.

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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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.

Who’s in the play-offs?

World Cup 2022 Play offs Image: Three more teams will advance through the European play-offs in March

While England have sealed automatic qualification by virtue of topping their group, Scotland, Wales and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal must go through the play-offs, from which three more teams will advance in March.

But 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 should they defeat Ukraine and Austria in their respective play-off semi-finals.

Likewise, Italy and Portugal will also play each other in a winner-goes-through play-off final if they win their semi-finals.

The play-offs to reach Qatar take place from March 24 to 29.

World Cup play-off draw

Path A

Scotland vs Ukraine

Wales vs Austria

Path B

Russia vs Poland

Sweden vs Czech Republic

Path C

Italy vs North Macedonia

Portugal vs Turkey

What is the World Cup format and schedule?

PA - France players celebrate winning the World Cup in Moscow in 2018 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.

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.

The finals draw is scheduled to take place in April 2022, after the March window for international fixtures.

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?

This computer-generated image shows an artists impression of Ras Abu Aboud Stadium in the host city of Doha Image: This computer-generated image shows an artists impression of Ras Abu Aboud Stadium in the host city of Doha

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.

Are tickets on sale?

Not yet. FIFA says “information regarding ticketing for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be available in due course.”

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

March 24-29 – World Cup play-offs.

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.


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