It is now official, and closer as ever.
The first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be staged in the iconic 60,000-seater Al Bayt Stadium.
According to news by FIFA, the world’s biggest football tournament, will kick off on Monday, 21 November 2022, at exactly 1300 hours.
The stadium takes its name from the old-fashioned tents used by locals and nomads in the Gulf region.
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“The local kick-off times for group matches have been set for 13:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 22:00, with the simultaneous kick-offs for the last round of group games and knockout-stage timings being 18:00 and 22:00,” confirmed FIFA on their website.
The third-place play-off, will be played in the Khalifa International Stadium on 17 December. The final will be hosted at the Lusail Stadium on December 18 at exactly 18:00.
FIFA also explained how teams will rotate between matches to allow players to have ample rest as well as providing a feasible and pleasing schedule for the fans.
“With the aim of providing all teams with optimal rest between their matches, the group stage will last 12 days and, with four matches per day, it promises a full and exciting schedule for fans. The tournament’s compact nature – with no air travel needed to move between the venues – will allow organisers, for the first time, to optimise specific match demands for the benefit and comfort of fans, teams and media,” explained FIFA.
Group matches for every match-day will be assigned to a stadium after the final draw, which will depend on the March 2022 qualifying window.
Fans could also attend more than one match a day during the group stages since stadiums are located within a radius accessible.
“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 kick-off. On top of that, this will potentially give fans the opportunity to attend more than one match a day during the group stage,” they said.