Open AccountOpen AccountDeposit 
DepositMy Bets
Join usDeposit
CasinoLive CasinoPromotionsSports

The 2022 World Cup Schedule and Venues

The World Cup is one of football’s most popular tournaments, with millions of fans watching the competition around the world. The tournament features the best footballing nations, making it an exciting event not only for passionate football supporters, particularly those who manage to attend the matches in person.

There is no shortage of action once the competition begins, as the tournament in its entirety is packed into mere weeks, with almost no breaks for the teams that advance to the final rounds.

In 2022 the 22nd World Cup will be played, and it will be quite an unusual event in the World Cup’s history. The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar, making it the first competition ever to be held in an Arab country, and it will also be the last World Cup to be played between 32 countries. It was announced that the following competition will have an expanded number of finalists, from 32 to a whopping 48.

World Cup Hosting History

Since its inauguration in 1930, the World Cup has been hosted most often by two federations, the UEFA and CONMEBOL. There are 6 footballing confederations in the world:

  • The Union of European Football Associations, abbreviated to UEFA
  • The South American Football Confederation, abbreviated to CONMEBOL
  • The Asian Football Confederation, abbreviated to AFC
  • The Confédération Africaine de Football, abbreviated to the CAF
  • The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, abbreviated to the CONCACAF
  • The Oceania Football Confederation, abbreviated to the OFC

The two major confederations when the World Cup was established were the CONMEBOL and UEFA (though at the time they had not yet developed into confederations). The first competition was held in Uruguay, and because of the limited travelling options at the time and the small budgets that were allocated to national football teams, only a handful of teams entered the event.

The hosts, Uruguay, won the first World Cup, and with only a small number of European teams in the competition, the organising panel decided to host the following competition in Italy. Therefore, the second World Cup was played in Italy and it was also won by the hosts. The third World Cup, which was played in 1938, was held in France.

This caused controversy amongst the South American fans who thought that the competition would alternate between the two confederations with each edition. The competition was put on hold with the outbreak of the Second World War, but when it was re-established in 1950, it was held in Brazil.

From then on, the competition alternated between the two major confederations, until it was hosted in the United States in 1994. The 2002 competition was the first to be held in an Asian country, when it was hosted by Japan. In 2010, South Africa became the first African country to host the World Cup.

When Will the World Cup Be Played?

In all of the previous World Cups, the tournament was held during the summertime. The competition is usually played from the second week of June through to the end of the first week or beginning of the second week of July. There were a handful of occasions when the competition was held solely in July, or from May through to June.

The 2022 World Cup was also scheduled to be played from June through to July, but when Qatar won the right to host the competition, there were questions about how the climate and weather conditions during the summer may affect the tournament.

In 2013, officials started looking for alternative dates that could be suitable. In 2015, the Task Force proposed the idea to hold the tournament from late November through to late December. This decision was made to avoid Ramadan in April, and avoided clashing with the schedules of the 2022 Winter Olympics in February and 2022 Winter Paralympics in March. The weather conditions were also considered to be more favourable for playing football in.

This proposal did not go without controversy, as many officials from domestic leagues pointed out that it would clash with the schedule of the regular season. Richard Scudamore, the chief executive of the Premier League said that they would seek legal action against because the schedule would upset the Premier League's famous Christmas and New Year's fixtures.

To address the concerns about the clash with the Premier League's popular end of year programme, confirmed that the tournament would be slightly shortened in length, so that the final would be played on December 18. This date happens to be the national day of Qatar, so it turned out to be a popular decision for the hosting nation.

Dates for the Stages

The group stages will kick off on the 21st of November and last until the 2nd of December, with 4 matches played on all of the 12 days. The matches are scheduled to start at 13:00, 16:00, either 18:00 or 19:00, and 22:00 at Arabia Standard Time. This is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and two hours ahead of Central European Time.

Once the group stage has completed, the 16 teams that advance to the group stages will play the following round between the 3rd of December and the 6th of December. The 16 matches will be played over four days, with two matches played per day at 18:00 and 22:00. The teams that play in these rounds will be the winners and runners up of the group stages, and they will be paired in the following way:

  • Winners of group A vs runners up of group B, winners of group C vs runners up of group D, winners of group E vs runners up of group F, winners of group G vs runners up of group H
  • Winners of group B vs runners up of group A, winners of group D vs runners up of group C, winners of group F vs runners up of group E, winners of group H vs runners up of group G

Once the round of 16 is finished, the winners of the round proceed to the quarter finals that will be played after a short break. The four matches between the final 8 teams will be played on the 9th and 10th of December, with fixtures played at 18:00 and 22:00 AST.

The winners of the quarter finals will play in the semi-finals, which will be held on the 13th and 14th of December, with both games being played at 22:00 AST. The teams that lose will play for the third place, which will be held on the 17th of December at 18:00 AST.

The two finalists will play on the 18th of December at 18:00 AST.

2022 World Cup Venues

Qatar announced that the World Cup matches will take place in 8 different venues. This is the minimum number of stadiums that a World Cup host must provide for the tournament, and whilst Qatar won their bid to host the World Cup, at the time of making the bid, the country had just one stadium.

Ahmad bin Ali Stadium

This stadium will host 7 matches in the World Cup. It was originally built in 2003 as a football ground for teams Al-Rayyan Sports Club and Al-Kharitiyath Sports Club.

Education City Stadium

This stadium will host eight matches of the World Cup and can seat a total of 45,350 people. It is located within several university campuses at the Qatar Foundation's Education City.

Al Janoub Stadium

This stadium will feature a retractable roof and will host seven matches in the 2022 World Cup. It was designed by late British Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid and features a neo-futurist design that uses many curves that are inspired by the sails of traditional boats in the regions.

Lusail Iconic Stadium

This stadium will host ten matches including the final. It has a capacity of 80,000 and is the largest venue on this list. It was designed by the famous British architectural firm Foster + Partners.

Al Bayt Stadium

With a capacity of 60,000, this stadium will host nine of the games in the World Cup. It features hotel suites and rooms with balconies that look onto the football field.

Stadium 974

This stadium is intended to be used only for the World Cup, and then will be dissembled and the building structures will be donated to under-developed countries. It will host seven matches of the upcoming World Cup.

Al Thumama Stadium

This stadium can hold 40,000 people and will host eight matches of the World Cup. It has quite a central location, and it is close to the Hamad International Airport.

Related Articles