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DOHA: Qatar will kick off the 2022 World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, as organisers announced the schedule for the mega tournament.
In a joint statement, FIFA and Qatar’s Supreme Committee organisational body said that Qatar will start the World Cup at the 60,000-capacity ground on 21st November.
Khalifa International Stadium will be the setting for the play-off for third place on 17 December. The final will be held at the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium in Doha a day later in front of an 80,000 crowd.
The opening match will begin a group stage that will feature four matches a day for 12 days, spread over eight stadiums around Qatar.
Group matches will kick off at three-hour intervals, beginning at 1.00pm local time, with the late match kicking off at 10:00pm local time.
The tournament will then jump straight to the last 16, with two matches a day until two rest days and the start of the quarter- and semi-finals, which will both be spread over two days.
Qualification for the World Cup has begun in Asia and Africa but is yet to start in Europe, the Americas and Oceania.
Organisers said that the draw for the finals would be made “after the March 2022 international match calendar qualifying window”.
Both the Al Bayt and Lusail stadiums are still under construction, although the Al Bayt ground — which takes its shape from the traditional tents used by nomadic peoples in the Gulf region — is nearing completion.
The iconic image of FIFA World Cup champions France lifting the trophy at Luzhniki Stadium is still fresh in the memory of every football fan.
Exactly two years after that historic occasion, the unveiling of the match schedule for the next edition invites the football world to dream of a new beginning.
The tournament’s compact nature with no air travel needed to move between the venues will allow organisers to optimise specific match demands for the benefit and comfort of fans and teams.
🚨 2022 #WORLDCUP MATCH SCHEDULE 🚨
🏆 It all starts in Qatar on Monday 21 November 2022 🌏
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 15, 2020