FIFA announces schedule for 2022 World Cup
FIFA, on Wednesday, released the full schedule for the 2022 World Cup which will be played in Qatar during November-December. The tournament's group stage will last 12 days with four matches per day. However, the final draw for the tournament is yet to be announced in March 2022, before venues and time-slots are assigned to games. Here is the full schedule.
FIFA announced the schedule on Twitter
Al Bayt Stadium to host the opening game
The tournament opener will be hosted by Al Bayt Stadium on November 21, that has a seating capacity of 60,000 people. As many as eight venues (in close proximity to Doha) will hold matches. Notably, the tournament will run for 28 days, unlike the previous edition in Russia (32 days). Moreover, air travel has been minimized as the stadiums are within a 30-mile radius.
Here are the kick-off timings
The local kick-off times for group matches have been set for 13:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 22:00, while the last round of group games and knockout-stage will commence at 18:00 and 22:00 respectively.
A look at the schedule of playoffs
Apart from hosting the tournament opener, the Al Bayt Stadium will also play host to the second semi-final on December 14. Besides, the first semi-final will be played at the 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium a day before. The particular stadium will also be used to for the summit clash on December 18. Meanwhile, the 3rd Place playoff will be held at Khalifa International Stadium.
Qatar all set to host the World Cup
CEO of the Qatar World Cup organising company, Nasser Al Khater, said the plans to host the tournament are well on schedule. "When we talk about the stadiums, more than 85% of the work has been completed and really now, the last two years, we're focusing on our operation readiness and making sure we get the fan experience plans in place," he said.
Final draw to be announced in March 2022
The group stage fixtures could only be finalized following the final draw, currently planned around March 2022. This will provide further clarity to fans in Qatar or audiences at home, regarding the pairings. Nonetheless, it will be the last World Cup with 32 teams before the nations get expanded to 48 at the 2026 edition in the United States, Canada and Mexico.