After Euro 2020 took place one year later than planned due to the coronavirus pandemic, the international calendar has swiftly moved towards World Cup 2022.
The world’s biggest football tournament is only held once every four years and France will go into the latest edition as defending champions.
France won the last World Cup, which was held in Russia. They won that 2018 final 4-2 against Croatia to clinch their second victory 20 years on from their 1998 triumph.
There will be 32 nations who do battle to be crowned world champions, a feat that has been achieved the most times by Brazil, who are five-time winners of the tournament. So when will the world cup 2022 happen?
World Cup 2022 will begin on November 21, 2022 and run until December 18. The 28-day schedule for the full event is much shorter than normal.
The next years World Cup, will be hosted in Qatar. It is the first time the tournament has been held in an Arab nation and just the second in the continent of Asia – the first being South Korea and Japan’s joint-hosting of the 2002 World Cup.
A total of Eight stadiums will be used at World Cup 2022 across five different cities in Qatar. The biggest ground will be the Lusail Iconic Stadium which should have a capacity of 80,000. That venue will host the final as well as one of the two semi-finals.
The next biggest is Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor that will house 60,000 spectators and host the second semi-final as well as the first match of the tournament, which will involve hosts Qatar.
The two venues in the capital city in Doha are Ras Abu Aboud Stadium and Al Thumama Stadium
Al Rayyan will have three World Cup stadiums: Education City Stadium, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium and Khalifa International Stadium.
Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah completes the line-up.
World Cup 2022 draw?
The finals draw for World Cup 2022 is expected to take place in April 2022 after the March international fixtures have been completed. The exact date is still to be confirmed.
Qualified Teams for World Cup 2022
Hosts Qatar, who gain automatic entry, are currently the only confirmed qualifiers of the 32 teams.
There will be 13 teams from Europe who gain entry to the tournament, with UEFA’s qualification process starting on 24 March 2021 and running until 29 March 2022.
Ten of those teams will be group winners from UEFA’s qualification pools, with the other three slots claimed by those who emerge from the play-off rounds, which will be contested by 12 teams (the 10 group runners-up and two sides who gain entry via the Nations League tournament).
Five African teams will progress, while at least four from South America, another four from Asia (in addition to Qatar) and three from the CONCACAF region will be at the event.
The last two places at the World Cup will be decided by the inter-confederation play-offs. One team each from the South America, Asia, CONCACAF and Oceania qualification processes will enter the play-offs, with the winners of two ties – held in June 2022 – to fill the final spaces in the event.
World Cup 2022 fixture schedule?
GROUP STAGE: The round-robin phase begins on November 21 with Qatar playing in the first match of the tournament in Group A. Across eight groups, every team plays three matches until this section of the event finishes on December 2. During the group stage, there will be FOUR matches per day, which is sure to delight football fans.
LAST 16: Sixteen teams will contest the second round, all bidding to reach the last eight by winning a one-off knockout tie. Matches will be played on four consecutive days from December 3 until December 6.
QUARTER-FINALS: Four last-eight matches will be held across two pivotal days on December 9 and December 10.
SEMI-FINALS: The first last-four clash is on December 13, with the second semi-final to be played on December 14.
FINAL: The World Cup final will take place on December 18 in Lusail. The third-place playoff is one day earlier.
Favourites to win World Cup 2022?
With the qualified teams yet to be confirmed, the odds are expected to change significantly by the time we reach the tournament in Qatar.
For now, it is Brazil who are most commonly listed as favourites with odds of around 11/2.
They are one of four teams seen as the most likely winners, with defending champions France (6/1), Euro 2020 runners-up England (7/1) and regular contenders Spain (8/1) all well fancied.
Germany and Italy (both 10/1), along with Belgium (11/1), Argentina and Portugal (both 12/1) plus the Netherlands (16/1) are also seen as candidates to win.
After those 10 possible winners, there is a huge gap before the other teams, with the likes of Uruguay (40/1), Colombia (40/1), Croatia (50/1) and Denmark (50/1) seen as the next options.
World Cup 2022 tickets?
FIFA have a page dedicated to ticketing updates for the tournament which can be found here.