FIFA announced Wednesday that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would kick off on Monday, Nov. 21 and culminate in the final on Dec. 18.

Al Bayt Stadium , a 60,000-capacity venue that takes its name and shape from the traditional tents used by nomadic peoples in the Gulf region, will be the stage for hosts Qatar to kick off the tournament on Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. local time. The local kickoff times for group matches have been set for 1 p.m., 4 p.m, 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. with the simultaneous kickoffs for the last round of group games and knockout-stage timings being 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Khalifa International Stadium will be the setting for the third-place match Dec. 17. The final will kick off one day later at 6 p.m. at Lusail Stadium, with a capacity of 80,000.

The group stage will last 12 days and, with four matches per day. The tournament’s compact nature will mean no air travel needed to move between the venues.

This will be achieved through the assignment of the group fixtures for each matchday to a stadium and kickoff time only after the final draw, planned for after the March 2022 international match calendar qualifying window.

Once the pairings are known, the possibility will be discussed of providing a more beneficial kickoff time for audiences at home or for fans in Qatar with regard to the stadium allocation.

That additional flexibility is possible without affecting any technical aspects since all stadiums are located within a compact radius and the climate is perfect at that time of year in Qatar, whether it is an early or a late kickoff. On top of that, this will potentially give fans the opportunity to attend more than one match a day during the group stage.

Hospitality sales are scheduled to start in late 2020. Ticket sales for the general public will be conducted solely via FIFA.com/tickets, where details on the timeline, phases, categories and prices will be communicated in due course.


2022 WORLD CUP SCHEDULE: Nov. 21 kickoff, Dec. 18 final