FIFA confirm 2022 Qatar World Cup schedule

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World football governing body FIFA have confirmed the match schedule for the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar.

The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup will be the first to be held in an Arab country and the last to involve 32 teams, with an increase to 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 tournament.

This will also mark the first World Cup not to be held in May, June, or July; the tournament is instead scheduled for late November until mid-December due to weather conditions.

The 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium, that takes its name and shape from the traditional tents used by nomadic people in the Gulf region, will be the stage for hosts Qatar to kick off the tournament on Monday, 21 November.

With the aim of providing all teams with optimal rest between their matches, the group stage will last 12 days and, with four matches per day.

The local kick-off times for group matches have been set for 13:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 22:00, with the simultaneous kick-offs for the last round of group games and knockout-stage timings being 18:00 and 22:00.

Khalifa International Stadium will be the setting for the play-off for third place on 17 December.

The final will take place on a Sunday, 18 December (Qatar National Day) at Lusail Stadium in front of an 80,000 crowd.

The final draw for the tournament is scheduled to take place in April 2022.

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By Ofhani Munyai

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