After more than a decade of controversy since it was awarded the title of the tournament, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is now underway.
The tournament is the first to be held in the Arab world and only the second in Asia, after Japan and South Korea co-hosted the event in 2002. This edition will be the last with only 32 teams taking part, with the tournament expanding inward from 2026 to include 48 countries.
The reigning champions France are among the favourites, although no team has defended the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, alongside other European teams England, Spain and Belgium. Brazil and Argentina are also likely to enter the knockout stages, while Senegal may represent Africa’s best hopes of winning for the first time.
Ticket sales for this tournament are now underway and everything you need to know is below.
When is the World Cup in Qatar?
Due to high summer temperatures in the Gulf state, the world championships in Qatar are the first to be held in winter rather than summer.
The first match of the tournament took place on November 21, with the final scheduled for December 18. The host, Qatar, will play in the opening match.
How is the draw for the World Cup?
There are 32 teams competing in Qatar, with the last three teams confirmed in the play-offs following the World Cup draw – a trio of sides including Wales heading to a world show for the first time since 1958.
Here is the group stage draw:
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
H group: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea
What time are the matches?
Four matches per day will be played in the group stage, with matches starting at 10:00, 13:00, 16:00 and 19:00 (GMT).
The knockout phases – round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final – will take place at 4pm and 7pm (GMT).
Where will the matches take place in Qatar?
Eight stadiums in five cities will host World Cup matches in Qatar, including the 80,000-capacity Iconic Stadium in Lusail, which will host the final. The stadium is located 23 kilometers north of the national capital Doha and was officially opened last November. Its design features an elaborate gold and white casing.
Losail has been converted into a sports center by the Qatari government and hosts Formula 1 and Moto GP races.
The other seven stadiums seat between 40,000 and 60,000 and are located in Doha, Al Khor, Al Rayyan and Al Wakrah.
How much will tickets for the World Cup in Qatar cost?
The World Cup in Qatar is the most expensive yet, with average ticket prices up 46 percent since the tournament was held in Russia four years ago.
The most expensive ticket on general sale for the final at Losail costs just under £1,200, while the percentage of tickets allocated to the cheapest section of the fourth category for all matches has been significantly reduced.
The average ticket for the group stage costs £126, the round of 16 £141, the quarter-final £194, the semi-final £502 and the final £764.
How can I buy tickets for the World Cup in Qatar?
More than 800,000 tickets were sold for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar during the initial FIFA sale, which ended on March 29. The largest ticket buyers were fans living in Qatar, the USA, England, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.
The second round of ticket sales began on 5 April, following the group stage draw on 1 April, and was conducted as what FIFA called the “draw sales period”.
Currently, the third “last minute” sales period is underway on a “first come, first served” basis. From October 18, 2022, customers already in Qatar can visit the Main Ticketing Center located at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center.
Who is the favorite for the World Cup in Qatar?
The current favorites for the World Cup in Qatar are: