What to expect at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar?

The 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup – Qatar 2022 will be played from 20 November to 18 December in Qatar. This will be the first played in the Arab world and will feature 32 countries from five confederations.

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called World Cup, is the most prestigious tournament in the world. Taking place quadrennially, the FIFA Men's World Cup sees nations compete against each other for the prize. Drawing billions of television viewers every tournament, and being one of the most watched events across the globe. Whilst many are lucky enough to buy world cup tickets.

The first-ever World Cup occurred in 1930 with Uruguay being the host and emerging as the winner. Ever since then, it has come up every four years except during World War II.

Maradona World Cup

Image copyright: Ryan Kelly

Out of the 21 World Cup tournaments that have been played since 1930, only eight national teams have won the coveted cup so far. Brazil has the highest number of wins, with five, and is the only country that has played in every tournament. Germany and Italy are not far behind, with both having four wins, though Germany has played two more World Cup finals than Italy. Despite winning the UEFA EURO in 2021, Italy has failed to qualify for the world cup.

In 2018, France emerged champions for the second time in history and the first since they were hosts in 1998 after defeating Croatia 4-2 in what will go down as one of the most thrilling World Cups finals ever. Having reached the EURO 2021 finals, England has struggled with a form of late leaving them without a win in their last 6 matches.

The top two South American teams, Argentina and Brazil seem to be the most consistent in form. Argentina is currently on an unbeaten streak of 35 games, while Brazil has been unbeaten since their loss to Argentina in the Copa America final.

Qatar became the first nation to qualify for the 2022 World Cup automatically as hosts when they won the bid to stage the tournament. It is their first appearance in the competition having never previously qualified for the tournament.

A woman takes a photo at the new Flag Plaza, on the Doha Corniche, Qatar.

Image copyright: Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

All the games will take place in eight stadiums in and around Qatar’s capital, Doha, making it the most compact World Cup in history. To reduce congestion, fans have been urged to travel early to matches with multiple people in the same car. Certain vehicles have been banned from central Doha and schools have been ordered to close, with most government employees expected to work from home for the time the tournament is on.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off on Sunday, November 20 at the Al Bayt Stadium in which the hosts take on Ecuador in Group A. Four matches will be played each day during the group stage, which will run over 12 days. Winners and runners-up will progress to the round of 16.

The grouping for the games

  • 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