After more than a decade of controversy since the tournament was awarded, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is now in full swing.
The tournament is the first to be held in the Arab world and only the second to be held in Asia after Japan and South Korea co-hosted the event in 2002. This edition will be the last with just 32 teams, with the tournament expanding to 48 countries from 2026.
Reigning champions France are among the favourites, although no team has successfully defended the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, alongside compatriots England, Spain and Belgium. Brazil and Argentina are also likely to play a part in the knockout stage, while Senegal could represent Africa’s biggest hope of winning for the first time.
Tickets for the tournament are on sale now and everything you need to know is below.
When is the World Cup in Qatar?
Due to the high summer temperatures in the Gulf state, the World Cup in Qatar is the first to be held in winter instead of summer.
The first match of the tournament took place on November 21 and the final is scheduled for December 18. Host country Qatar plays in the opening game.
What is the World Cup draw?
32 teams compete in Qatar with the final three teams confirmed via play-offs after the World Cup draw has taken place – a trio of teams including Wales, who are on their way to global stardom for the first time since 1958.
This is the draw for the group stage:
Group A : Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales
Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea
What time are the matches?
In the group stage, there are four matches per day with kick-off at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm (GMT).
The knockout stages – last 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final – will be played at 4pm and 7pm (GMT).
Where do the matches take place in Qatar?
Eight stadiums in five cities will host World Cup matches in Qatar, including the 80,000-seat Iconic Stadium in Lusail, which will host the final. The stadium is located 23 kilometers north of the capital Doha and was officially opened last November. The design features an elaborate gold and white exterior.
Losail has been turned into a sports center by the government of Qatar and also hosts Formula 1 and Moto GP races.
The remaining seven stadiums range in capacity from 40,000 to 60,000 seats and are located in Doha, Al Khor, Al Rayyan and Al Wakrah.
How much do tickets for the World Cup in Qatar cost?
Qatar’s World Cup is the most expensive to date, with average ticket prices up 46 percent since the tournament was held in Russia four years ago.
The most expensive overall sale ticket for the final at Losail costs just under £1,200, while the percentage of tickets allocated to the cheapest category four section for all matches has been significantly reduced.
The average ticket to a group stage costs £126, the round of 16 £141, the quarter-finals £194, the semi-finals £502 and the final £764.
How do I buy tickets for the World Cup in Qatar?
More than 800,000 tickets for the World Cup in Qatar were sold in FIFA’s opening sale, which closed on March 29. Fans from Qatar, USA, England, Mexico and UAE were the biggest buyers of tickets.
The second round of ticket sales began on April 5, after the group stage draw took place on April 1, and was conducted as what FIFA called a “random selection sales period”.
A third, “last minute” sale period is now underway on a first come, first served basis. From October 18, 2022, customers already in Qatar can visit the Main Ticketing Center at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.
Who are the favorites to win the World Cup in Qatar?
The current favorites for the World Cup in Qatar are as follows: