- FT Desk
- Updated: 20 Nov 2022 09:25 GMT
- 10 min read
FT DeskUpdated: 20 Nov 2022 09:25 GMT10 min read
The 2022 World Cup 2022 kicks off today, Sunday 20 November, with hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador!
The world's biggest football tournament is only held once every four years and France go into this latest edition as defending champions.
France were victorious at the last World Cup, which was held in Russia. They won that 2018 final 4-2 against Croatia to clinch their second victory 20 years on from their 1998 triumph.
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There are 32 nations who will do battle to be crowned world champions, a feat that has been achieved the most times by Brazil, who are five-time winners of the competition.
When is the World Cup 2022?
World Cup 2022 begins on 20 November 2022 and run until 18 December The 29-day schedule for the full event is much shorter than normal.
The event was supposed to start on 21 November, but FIFA decided to bring it forward by a day, allowing hosts Qatar to open the tournament, with their match against Ecuador the only contest taking place on Sunday.
Where is the World Cup 2022?
World Cup 2022 is being hosted in Qatar. It is the first time the tournament has been held in an Arab nation and just the second in the continent of Asia - the first being South Korea and Japan's joint-hosting of the 2002 World Cup.
What are the World Cup 2022 fixtures, results and kick-off times?
Qatar versus Ecuador will be the first match of the World Cup on 20 November.
There will be up to four matches per day during a hectic group stage that runs until December 2.
World Cup group-stage fixtures and results
|Date||Fixture||KO time (GMT/EST)|
|Nov 20||Qatar vs Ecuador||16:00/11:00|
|Nov 21||Senegal vs Netherlands||16:00/11:00|
|Nov 21||England vs Iran||13:00/08:00|
|Nov 21||United States vs Wales||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 22||Argentina vs Saudi Arabia||10:00/05:00|
|Nov 22||Mexico vs Poland||16:00/11:00|
|Nov 22||France vs Australia||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 22||Denmark vs Tunisia||13:00/08:00|
|Nov 23||Spain vs Costa Rica||16:00/11:00|
|Nov 23||Germany vs Japan||13:00/08:00|
|Nov 23||Belgium vs Canada||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 23||Morocco vs Croatia||10:00/05:00|
|Nov 24||Brazil vs Serbia||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 24||Switzerland vs Cameroon||10:00/05:00|
|Nov 24||Portugal vs Ghana||16:00/11:00|
|Nov 24||Uruguay vs South Korea||13:00/08:00|
|Nov 25||Qatar vs Senegal||13:00/08:00|
|Nov 25||Netherlands vs Ecuador||16:00/11:00|
|Nov 25||England vs United States||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 25||Wales vs Iran||10:00/05:00|
|Nov 26||Argentina vs Mexico||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 26||Poland vs Saudi Arabia||13:00/08:00|
|Nov 26||France vs Denmark||16:00/11:00|
|Nov 26||Tunisia vs Australia||10:00/05:00|
|Nov 27||Spain vs Germany||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 27||Japan vs Costa Rica||10:00/05:00|
|Nov 27||Belgium vs Morocco||13:00/08:00|
|Nov 27||Croatia vs Canada||16:00/11:00|
|Nov 28||Brazil vs Switzerland||10:00/05:00|
|Nov 28||Cameroon vs Serbia||10:00/05:00|
|Nov 28||Portugal vs Uruguay||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 28||South Korea vs Ghana||13:00/08:00|
|Nov 29||Netherlands vs Qatar||15:00/10:00|
|Nov 29||Ecuador vs Senegal||15:00/10:00|
|Nov 29||Wales vs England||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 29||Iran vs United States||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 30||Poland vs Argentina||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 30||Saudi Arabia vs Mexico||19:00/14:00|
|Nov 30||Tunisia vs France||15:00/10:00|
|Nov 30||Australia vs Denmark||15:00/10:00|
|Dec 1||Japan vs Spain||19:00/14:00|
|Dec 1||Costa Rica vs Germany||19:00/14:00|
|Dec 1||Croatia vs Belgium||15:00/10:00|
|Dec 1||Canada vs Morocco||15:00/10:00|
|Dec 2||Cameroon vs Brazil||19:00/14:00|
|Dec 2||Serbia vs Switzerland||19:00/14:00|
|Dec 2||South Korea vs Portugal||15:00/10:00|
|Dec 2||Ghana vs Uruguay||15:00/10:00|
|Dec 3||Winners A vs Runners-Up B||18:00/15:00|
|Dec 3||Winners C vs Runners-Up D||22:00/19:00|
|Dec 4||Winners D vs Runners-Up C||18:00/15:00|
|Dec 4||Winners B vs Runners-Up A||22:00/19:00|
|Dec 5||Winners E vs Runners-Up F||18:00/15:00|
|Dec 5||Winners G vs Runners-Up H||22:00/19:00|
|Dec 6||Winners F vs Runners-Up E||18:00/15:00|
|Dec 6||Winners H vs Runners-Up G||22:00/19:00|
|Dec 2||Quarter-final 1||18:00/15:00|
|Dec 2||Quarter-final 2||22:00/19:00|
|Dec 2||Quarter-final 3||18:00/15:00|
|Dec 2||Quarter-final 4||22:00/19:00|
|Dec 2||Semi-final 1||22:00/19:00|
|Dec 2||Semi-final 2||22:00/19:00|
|Dec 2||Third and fourth playoff||18:00/15:00|
Eight last-16 fixtures are scheduled for 3-6 December, with the quarter-finals due to take place on 9 and 10 December.
The two semi-finals will take place on 13 and 14 December, with the third-place play-off on 17 December and the main event, the World Cup final, on Sunday 18 December.
What teams have qualified for World Cup 2022?
World Cup 2022: Qualified teams
Hosts Qatar gained automatic entry, but it was Germany who became the first nation to join them at the tournament by topping Group J of their UEFA qualification group.
Denmark were the second team to emerge from qualifying after sealing top spot in Group F with two matches to spare.
On 11 November, Brazil became the first South American side to book their passage to the World Cup. A goal from Lucas Paqueta gave them a 1-0 win over Colombia, which secured their place in the top four of the CONMEBOL qualifying group.
France and Belgium qualified for the World Cup on 13 November, while on 14 November, Croatia beat Russia 1-0 in Split to leapfrog their opponents and qualify for the World Cup as Group H winners.
Spain defeated Sweden 1-0 in Group B to book their own place at Qatar 2022, but the big shock was in Group A. Aleksandar Mitrovic's last minute goal gave Serbia a 2-1 win in Portugal, meaning Cristiano Ronaldo had to go through a playoff to make it to a fifth World Cup.
Two more teams sealed their places in Qatar on 15 November, including Euro 2020 runners-up England.
A 4-0 win for Switzerland over Bulgaria meant they were able to top Group C ahead of European champions Italy, who were held by Northern Ireland in a surprise result that left them, like Portugal, vulnerable in the playoffs - and they ultimately failed to progress.
On 16 November it was the turn of Netherlands to seal their World Cup spot, topping Turkey to win Group G.
There are 13 teams from Europe who gained entry to the tournament, with UEFA's qualification process starting on 24 March 2021.
Ten of those teams were group winners from UEFA's qualification pools, with the other three slots claimed by those who emerged from the play-off rounds, which were contested by 12 teams (the 10 group runners-up and two sides who gain entry via the Nations League tournament).
The final three places from UEFA were decided in the play-offs, with Wales, Poland and Portugal emerging triumphant, with European champions Italy the biggest side not to qualify.
With Brazil the first South American team through, Argentina, Ecuador and Uruguay came next in the 10-team group which has four automatic places available.
Five African teams progressed: Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia.
Another four from Asia (in addition to Qatar) - Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea - and three from the CONCACAF region - Canada, Mexico and the United States - will be at the event.
The last two places at the World Cup were decided by the inter-confederation play-offs. One team each from the South America, Asia, CONCACAF and Oceania qualification processes will enter the play-offs, with the winners of those two ties - held in June 2022 - filling the final spaces in the event.
In those fixtures, Costa Rica beat New Zealand, while Peru were denied a place at the tournament by Australia.
What stadiums will be used at World Cup 2022?
Eight stadiums will be used at World Cup 2022 across five different cities in Qatar.
The biggest ground will be the Lusail Iconic Stadium which has a capacity of 80,000. That venue will host the final as well as one of the first of two semi-finals.
The next biggest is Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor that houses 60,000 spectators and hosts the second semi-final as well as the first match of the tournament, which involves hosts Qatar.
The two venues in the capital city in Doha are Ras Abu Aboud Stadium and Al Thumama Stadium.
Al Rayyan will have three World Cup stadiums: Education City Stadium, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium and Khalifa International Stadium.
Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah completes the line-up.
When is the draw for World Cup 2022?
The finals draw for World Cup 2022 took place on April 1 2022 after the March international fixtures had been completed.
What is the World Cup 2022 fixture schedule?
GROUP STAGE: The round-robin phase begins on November 20 with Qatar playing in the first match of the tournament in Group A. Across eight groups, every team plays three matches until this section of the event finishes on December 2. During the group stage, there will be FOUR matches per day, which is sure to delight football fans.
LAST 16: Sixteen teams will contest the second round, all bidding to reach the last eight by winning a one-off knockout tie. Matches will be played on four consecutive days from December 3 until December 6.
QUARTER-FINALS: Four last-eight matches will be held across two pivotal days on December 9 and December 10.
SEMI-FINALS: The first last-four clash is on December 13, with the second semi-final to be played on December 14.
FINAL: The World Cup final will take place on December 18 in Lusail. The third-place playoff is one day earlier.
What are the World Cup 2022 groups?
Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
Group B: England, Iran, United States, 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 World Cup 2022?
With the qualified teams now confirmed in full, the odds have changed significantly with the tournament's big kick-off upon us.
For now, it is Brazil who are most commonly listed as favourites with odds of around 4/1, with their price shortening over recent months.
They are one of five teams seen as the most likely winners, with Copa America winners Argentina (11/2), defending world champions France (6/1), regular contenders Spain (17/2) and Euro 2020 runners-up England (8/1) all well fancied.
Germany (10/1), along with Belgium , Portugal and the Netherlands (all around 12/1) are also seen as candidates to win.
After those nine possible winners, there is a huge gap before the other teams, with the likes of Uruguay (60/1), Croatia (66/1) and Denmark (40/1) seen as the next options.
How can you buy World Cup 2022 tickets?
In its most recent update, FIFA said: "The First Come First Served sales period of Sales Phase 2 has ended.
"On a first come, first served basis, the Last Minute Sales Phase will be open until the end of the tournament.
"Check out fifa.com/tickets regularly for an update on the opening date. It will be communicated in due time."
Fifa's ticketing information website can be found here.