The 2022 World Cup will take place in Qatar in November and December. The tiny Middle Eastern country was controversially named as the host nation in 2010, ahead of the United States, South Korea, Australia and Japan.
This will be the 22nd edition of a tournament that was first held in 1930. Just 13 teams participated in that inaugural competition. In 2022 there will be 32 sides present for the final time, with the World Cup set to feature 48 teams from the 2026 edition onwards.
Matches at this year’s tournament will be held in five cities in Qatar: Doha, Al Rayyan, Lusail, Al Khor and Al Wakrah. The opening match will be played at Al Bayt Stadium, with the final set to be staged at Lusail Iconic Stadium.
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Brazil are the favorites to win the World Cup 2022 with the best online sportsbooks. The five-time champions have lifted this trophy more often than any other nation, and there is a sense that this could be the Selecao’s time to add a sixth star to their jerseys. Their squad is deep and strong, while Tite - who will step down after the tournament - is a smart tactician.
France are the defending champions and will be looking to become only the second team to win back-to-back World Cups (after Italy in 1934 and 1938, and Brazil in 1958 and 1962). They arguably have the best squad in the tournament on paper but there are concerns about potential discord in the locker room.
Argentina are rated as the third most likely winners, as Lionel Messi attempts to triumph in what will surely be his last World Cup. England are also fancied to do well despite their disappointing form since reaching the final of Euro 2020 last summer.
Spain could be an attractive selection at the price they are available at pre-tournament, although their attack is not always the most efficient. Germany can never be written off at World Cups given their historic record, and Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal are outsiders who could go all the way with a bit of luck.
France won the World Cup 2018 in Russia. They picked up seven points in the group stage, drawing with Denmark and beating Australia and Peru. They then triumphed 4-3 over Argentina in a thrilling match in the round of 16, before beating Uruguay and Belgium to reach the final.
France beat Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow. The runners-up had finished top of Group D ahead of Argentina, Nigeria and Iceland. They needed penalties to squeeze past Denmark and Russia in the last 16 and quarter-finals respectively, before overcoming England in the semi-finals.
|World Cup Winners||Victories||Most Recent Victory|
The 32 teams have been divided into eight groups of four. The top two in each group will advance to the knockout phase, which begins with a round of 16.
Games in the knockout rounds are one-legged ties, with extra time and (if needed) penalty shoot-outs determining the winner if the score is level after 90 minutes.
Every previous edition of the World Cup has been held in the northern hemisphere’s summer. The tournament was shifted a couple of weeks earlier in 2002 to avoid the rainy season in Japan and South Korea, beginning at the end of May and finishing in late June. The usual schedule is mid-June to mid-July.
However, the World Cup 2022 will be held in November and December. This is because it is simply unfeasible to play football in Qatar in June and July, when temperatures can soar to more than 50°C (122°F).
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D||Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
Qatar was named as the host nation in 2010. The voting process was held in five stages, with one country eliminated per round. The United States and Qatar progressed to the final round, with the Middle Eastern nation triumphing by 14 votes to eight.
It was a surprising and contentious decision. Qatar is a tiny country of just two million people. Its critics charged that it has little football heritage, although Qatar did win the most recent edition of the Asian Cup. There were also allegations of Qatari officials using bribery during the selection process, although it is not the only nation to have been accused of misconduct.
A report by the Guardian found that, as of February 2021, 6500 migrant workers had died in Qatar since it was awarded the World Cup. Many deaths relate directly to the building of stadia that will be used during the competition.
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|2022 World Cup Information|
|Dates||20 November 2022 – 18 December 2022|
|Kick-off times||5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm|
|How to watch||Fox Sports|
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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