Football’s world governing body, FIFA, on Wednesday released the match schedule for the 2022 World Cup which will be hosted by Qatar.
The tournament will begin November 21 at Al Bayt Stadium in the northern city of Al Khor with the hosts Qatar in action while the final will be played on December 18 at Lusail Stadium in Doha.
“Exactly two years after that historic occasion on 15 July 2018, the unveiling of the match schedule for the next edition invites the football world to dream of a new beginning – one that, now, has a precise time and place to start,” FIFA said in a statement on its website.
The group stage will be spread over the course of 12 days and will feature four matches a day to give all teams “optimal rest” between their matches and promise fans a “full and exciting schedule,” according to FIFA.
FIFA said that the local kick-off times (GMT +3) for group matches had been set for 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm. Meanwhile, the concurrent kick-offs for the final round of group games and knockout-stage timings will be 6pm and 10pm.
Group stage games for each matchday will only be assigned to a stadium and kick-off time after the final draw, which will be held after the March 2022 international match calendar qualifying window.
“Once the pairings are known, the possibility will be discussed of providing a more beneficial kick-off time for audiences at home, or indeed for fans in Qatar with regard to the stadium allocation,” FIFA said.
According to FIFA, due to the location of all of Qatar’s stadiums within a 40-mile radius, fans might be able to attend more than one match a day during the group stage.