The iconic image of FIFA World Cup champions France lifting the trophy at Luzhniki Stadium is still fresh in the memory of every football fan. Exactly two years after that historic occasion on July 15, 2018, the match schedule for the next edition was unveiled.
Al Bayt Stadium, a 60,000-capacity arena 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 Monday, November 21, 2022.
The local kick-off times for group matches have been set for 13:00, 16:00, 19:00 and 22:00 (11:00 CET), with the simultaneous kick-offs for the last round of group games and knockout-stage timings being 18:00 and 22:00.
Khalifa International Stadium will be the setting for the play-off for third place on December 17.
The final will kick off one day later at the Lusail Stadium in front of an 80,000 crowd.
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.
Once the pairings are known, the possibility will be discussed of providing a more beneficial kick-off time for audiences at home, or indeed 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 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.