…as FIFA releases fixtures schedule for Mundial
The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December, world football governing body FIFA announced on Wednesday. The 2022 edition will be held in November and December, as against the normal June and July, in order to avoid the harsh Qatari summer, which is not ideal for football. It will also be the first World Cup to be hosted in the Middle East. The 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium will be the venue for the opening match which will feature hosts Qatar, while the Lusail Stadium, which boasts an 80,000 capacity, will host the final.
The 2022 World Cup will feature 32 teams drawn into eight groups of four teams each. According to the FIFA schedule published on their official website, the group stages will last 12 days, with four matches played each day. The round of 16 matches will be played from 3 December to 6 December, the quarter- finals on 9 December and 10 December, the semi-finals on 13 December and 14 December, the third-place match and final on December 17 and December 18 .
While the final tournament itself has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the qualifying schedule has been altered in all the confederations after football was disrupted for at least three months. Normally, qualifiers are concluded the year before the World Cup but the ones for Qatar will run into 2022. The draw for the final tournament will be held in April 2022.