FIFA, the international football federation, has lifted the veil regarding the programme for the next 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The host country will kick off the World Cup on Monday 21 November at the Al Bayt Stadium against a nation yet to be determined. The final is scheduled for 18 December at the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium.
In order to provide all teams with optimal rest periods between matches, it has been decided to spread the group stage over 12 days, with four matches per day, FIFA said. This is made possible by the fact that there is no air travel between the different venues, which are all close to each other.
“For the first time, the organisers will be able to optimise the schedule for the benefit of the fans, the participating teams and the media,” the international body added.
“Once the matches are known, there will be discussions on how to allocate the stadiums and different kick-off times to best satisfy viewers in the different participating countries or fans in Qatar.”
The group phase matches will start at 13:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 22:00 local time (11:00, 14:00, 17:00 and 20:00 Belgian time), with simultaneous kick-offs on the final day. Those in the knockout phase will be played at 18:00 or 22:00 local time (16:00 or 20:00 Belgian time).