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In November, 32 teams will be setting off to Qatar to compete in the 22nd edition of the World Cup. With the draw for the competition having taken place in Doha on April 01st we are now all set for kick off. Here we look at the key information ahead of the tournament so you can plan ahead and catch every kick of each of the 64 matches set to be played out over the 28-day period.

When and Where is the World Cup?

In a change to tradition, this year’s tournament will be held in November and December. This was decided to avoid the extreme summertime temperatures experienced in Qatar which can regularly top 40 degrees Celsius – the hope is that the more temperate conditions will benefit both players and fans alike. However, with the World Cup running in the winter, it means that domestic leagues across the globe will be taking a break to accommodate the tournament. The competition will run from November 20th – Dec 18th.

When is the Opening Match?

The opening match will be played out between hosts Qatar and Ecuador who will kick off matches in Group A at 19.00 local time. Taking place at the Al Bayt Stadium the match will follow the opening ceremony – a fanfare which is set to kick off the tournament in style.

When is the 2022 World Cup Final?

The final will take place on Sunday 18th December at the Lusail Stadium. Located approximately 23km north of Doha, it’s a venue that has been built specifically for the World Cup and has the capacity to hold 80,000 fans.

What is the Format and Schedule for the 2022 World Cup Final?

Following suit of recent tournaments, the World Cup will open with a group stage that will see each of the 32 participants split into eight groups of four. Within each group, each team will play each other once, resulting in three matches per team. The top two teams within each group will then proceed to the knockout stages which begins with the Round of 16.

In the knockout phase, games are a straightforward elimination format. There are no replays meaning that if a match is not decided within 90mins then extra time and if required a penalty shoot-out will be played out.

What Time will Matches Kick Off?

The early group games offer a packed schedule with matches being staggered at intervals throughout each day. The table below provides a more comprehensive overview of kick off time throughout the tournament:


Local time

USA & Canada (ET)


Australia (AEDT)

India (IST)

Group stage only






Group stage only






Knockout stage only






Group stage only






Group stage and knockouts







What are the Key Dates?

With the dates for the various stages of the tournament announced, now is the time to start marking those calendars as you consider how far your favoured nation will go in this year’s competition:

Group Stage: November 20th – December 02nd

Round of 16: December 03rd – December 06th

Quarterfinals: December 09th – December 10th

Semi-Finals: December 13th – December 14th

Third Play Playoff Match: December 17th

Final: December 18th

Group Stage Matches to Look Out For

There are already a handful of mouth-watering matchups planned for the group stage. Southgate’s English Lions will face the first ever all British match up as they take on Wales on 29th November at the Al Rayyan Stadium in Group B.

In Group E, coined the group of death, we will see Germany up against Spain. Both are former champions and will be keen for a result to help ensure they top the group. Mark your calendars for the 27th November with kick-off set for 22.00 local time at the Al Bayt Stadium. 

Tournament favourites Belgium will take on 2018 semi-finalists Croatia in their final group game on December 1st in what is set to be another tough match played out at the Al Rayyan Stadium.  Current Champions France will kick off their campaign with a match against Group D competitors Australia – on paper this looks like a straightforward opening game for Les Bleus, but the Socceroos will be keen to land an upset.

If it is South American flair you are on the lookout for, don’t miss Brazil’s opening matches against Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon where their usual flamboyant style should be on show.

Where Will Matches Take Place?

Taking place entirely in Qatar, the majority of the games will be played out in the capital of Doha. In total there are eight stadiums that have been erected for the tournament.

The four in the capital are: the Al Thumama Stadium, the Khalifa International Stadium, the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium and the Education City Stadium.

The four other stadia, positioned outside the capital, are the 80,000 capacity Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail, the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah and lastly the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

The venues are all positioned close to one other so travel between matches will be limited with the longest distance being between the Al Bayt stadium and the Al Janoub Stadium, estimated at approximately 65km.

Let the Tournament Begin

And with that summary you should have all you need to plan your 28-day football frenzy. Whether you’ll be setting the alarm for an early morning kick off or getting the snacks in to enjoy a late-night football treat, be sure to analyse the matches early. Where will you be placing an early bet? Who are the unknowns that you want to keep an eye on to see how they settle in? Who are your dead certs that you want to stake a pre-tournament wager on to try and catch the best odds and maximise your winnings? Start making those decisions as the world’s greatest football tournament is almost upon us. 


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