FIFA announces schedule for World Cup 2022, hosts Qatar to kick-off tournament on November 21


New Delhi: FIFA on Wednesday (July 15, 2020) announced the schedule for the World Cup 2022, where the hosts, Qatar, will kick-off the tournament at the Al Bayt Stadium.

The Al Bayt Stadium which has a capacity of 60,000 people will witness the tournament opener on November 21, 2022, at 13:00 local time (10:30 PM IST). 

The local kick-off times for group matches have been set for 13:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 22:00, with the simultaneous kick-offs for the last round of group games and knockout-stage timings being 18:00 and 22:00. 

The Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, that has hosted the Asian Games, the Gulf Cup, the AFC Asian Cup and five matches of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, will see the play-off match for the third place on December 17. 

The final will kick off on December 18 at 18:00 AST (3:30 am IST on December 19) at the Lusail Stadium which has a capacity to accommodate 80,000 people.

According to FIFA, the group stage will last for 12 days with an aim to provide all teams with optimal rest between their matches.

Only four matches will be played every day.

“The tournament’s compact nature – with no air travel needed to move between the venues – will allow organisers, for the first time, to optimise specific match demands for the benefit and comfort of fans, teams and media,” said FIFA.

The group fixtures will be decided after the March 2022 international match calendar qualifying window.

The last World Cup was played in 2018 in Russia. The 21st FIFA World Cup final witnessed France lifting their second World Cup after beating Croatia 4-2 on July 15 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

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