After over a decade of controversy since it was awarded the tournament, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is just a few months away from beginning.
The tournament will be the first to be held in the Arab world and only the second to take place in Asia, after Japan and South Korea joint-hosted the event in 2002. This edition will be the last to feature just 32 teams, with the tournament being expanded from 2026 inwards in order to feature 48 nations.
Reigning champions France will be among the favourites, though no team has successfully defended the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, alongside fellow European sides England, Spain, and Belgium. Brazil and Argentina will also likely feature in the knockout stages, while Senegal could represent Africa’s biggest hopes of winning for the first time.
Ticket sales are now underway for the tournament, and everything you need to know is below.
When is the World Cup in Qatar?
Because of excessive summer temperatures in the Gulf state, the Qatar World Cup will be the first to be staged in winter rather than summer.
The first match of the tournament is set to take place on 21 November, and the final is scheduled for 18 December. Host nation Qatar will play in the opening fixture.
What is the World Cup draw?
32 teams will compete in Qatar with the final three teams confirmed via play-offs after the World Cup draw had taken place – a trio of sides that included Wales, who are heading to the global showpiece for the first time since 1958.
Here’s 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
Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea
Who are the favourites to win the World Cup in Qatar?
The current favourites for the World Cup in Qatar are as follows:
Where will matches in Qatar take place?
Eight stadiums in five cities will host World Cup matches in Qatar, including the 80,000 seater Iconic Stadium in Lusail, which will stage the final. The stadium is located 23 kilometres north of the capital Doha, and was officially opened last November. Its design features an elaborate gold and white exterior.
Losail has been turned into a sports hub by the Qatari government, and also hosts Formula 1 and Moto GP races.
The other seven stadia range in capacity from 40,000 to 60,000 seats, and are located in Doha, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, and Al Wakrah.
How much will Qatar World Cup tickets cost?
The Qatar World Cup will be the most expensive yet, with the average ticket price rising by 46 percent since the tournament was held in Russia four years ago.
The most expensive general sale ticket for the final in Losail will be just under £1,200, while the percentage of tickets allocated into the cheapest category four section for all matches has been significantly reduced.
The average group stage ticket will cost £126, the round-of-16 £141, the quarter-finals £194, the semi-finals £502, and the final £764.
How can I buy tickets for the Qatar World Cup?
Over 800,000 tickets for the Qatar World Cup were sold in Fifa’s opening sales phase, which closed on 29 March. Fans living in Qatar, the USA, England, Mexico and the UAE were the biggest purchasers of tickets. The second round of ticket sales began on 5 April, after the group stage draw was made on 1 April, and was conducted as what Fifa called a “random selection draw sales period.”
A third, “last minute” sales period is now underway and operating on a first-come first-serve basis. Fans hoping to secure tickets should go to the Fifa ticket portal and register an account now, with the ticket deadline set for 16 August.