The build-up, controversy, and debate surrounding the 2022 World Cup have lasted for 12 years, and now the tournament is just days away. Will Qatar host the 2022 World Cup be the first tournament since 1998 not won by either France or Brazil? Can England finally win the World Cup after reaching the semi-finals twice in the last two tournaments? Is there enough talent on the squad to get them all the way to the finish line? We’re weeks away from finding out… The World Cup is being hosted by Qatar for the first time, which means to follow the games you will need to check what time is it in the Middle East.
It’s the last 32-team edition of the competition, with expansion to 48 due for the 2026 World Cup that will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada. And while size of the field and the format may be familiar and commonplace, given all of the unusual elements in play, the next few weeks could be filled with some unexpected twists, unlikely runs and surprise early departures.
There are eight groups of four teams, with the top two advancing to the 16-team knockout stage.
There will be four games back-to-back per day — yes, four! — for most of the first two sets of group games, then simultaneous kickoffs for the last two games in each group.
There’ll be no break for the knockout stage, which begins the day after the group stage ends. The first day without soccer comes on Dec. 7 — the 17th day of competition.
The matches are going to be held between eight venues in the capital city of Doha, and the surrounding cities of Lusail, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, and Al Wakrah. Each of the Qatar World Cup stadiums completed construction in the past two years explicitly for the games, with the exception of the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, which was build in 1976.
Brazil, who has won the most World Cups with five trophies, is the favorite to win the 2022 World Cup, according to the latest polls by Bet365. They are followed by France, England, and Argentina.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup is taking place next year in Australia and New Zealand, from July 20, 2023 to August 20, 2023. There’s still time to plan a memorable trip to watch the U.S. women’s team compete—a team that is actually likely to take home the win, yet again.
The next men’s World Cup will be in 2026. For the first time ever, there will be three host countries: the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Host cities will be Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey, Toronto and Vancouver.