Soccer World Cup 2022 Qatar (Teams + Fixtures + Schedule + Controversy!)

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Christmas comes early in 2022, with the World Cup set to take place in November and December. As anticipation reaches a feverish peak, it’s time to look at what Qatar offers. 

The soccer World Cup in 2022 will aptly mark the 22nd time this storied competition takes place. It is the first-ever winter World Cup and the first to be hosted by an Arab nation.

This article covers the tournament from start to finish, and we even look into some of the more controversial topics circulating.

Will 5 time winners and betting favorites, Brazil, lift the trophy once again, or will we see a new team on the podium on December 18th? Let us know what you think!

FIFA Soccer World Cup 2022 ○ Soccer Blade

Soccer World Cup 2022: The Breakdown

With the 2022/23 season already underway, the World Cup will be here in a flash. This article looks at what you can expect from the 2022 World Cup. From the key dates to how to get tickets, here’s everything you need to know. 

Key Dates For The World Cup 2022

Work or school schedules combined with Qatar’s time difference means you’ll need to earmark certain dates to avoid missing the big games. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are the important occasions to keep an eye out for: 

  • Sunday, November 20th: Opening game – Qatar vs. Ecuador
  • Monday, November 21st: Group B game – USA vs. Wales
  • Friday, November 25th: Group B game – USA vs. England
  • Tuesday, November 29th: Group B game – USA vs. Iran
  • Saturday, December 3rd: Start of Round of 16 games
  • Friday, December 9th: Start of Quarter-finals games
  • Tuesday, December 13th: Start of Semi-finals games
  • Sunday, December 18th: World Cup Final
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Fifa World Cup Tickets Qatar 2022 ○ Soccer Blade

How Much Are World Cup Tickets?

Official World Cup game tickets are sold exclusively by FIFA through a categorized phased process. The starting price for a ticket is around $11. However, these are category 4 tickets and are reserved for Qatari residents only.

Category 1, 2, and 3 tickets are available to the general republic. Category 1 tickets are the most expensive, while category 3 tickets are the cheapest. 

The prices change depending on the tournament stage, with tickets getting gradually more expensive as the competition progresses. The prices range as follows: 

  • Opening Game: $550-$305
  • Group Stages Game: $11-$220
  • Round of 16 Game: $20-$275
  • Quarter-Finals Game: $83-$426
  • Semi-Finals Game: $138-$955
  • Third-Place Playoff Game: $83-$426
  • World Cup Final: $206-$1,605

Tickets are made available by FIFA at set intervals and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Unsurprisingly, they sell out fast. FIFA also holds ticket lotteries for applicants. This may be your best shot at getting some at a reasonable price. 

FIFA also facilitates ticket resales through its website. However, this platform isn’t always available. Unauthorized ticket redistribution is strictly prohibited. 

How Much Does It Cost to Go to Qatar 2022?

US fans attending a single World Cup group stage game can enjoy a budget-friendly week-long stay in Qatar for approximately $2,600 to $3,000. This includes flights, accommodation, and food. Any extra expenditure is down to you. 

To give you a better idea of how the costs, here is a breakdown of the major expenses: 

  • Average return plane ticket from New York: $1,290
  • Hotel accommodation: $85-$5,000 per night
  • Average meal for 2: $15-$25
  • Group stage game ticket: $70-$220 (non-Qatari residents)

You can enjoy Qatar’s public transport for free if you have a match ticket. Qatar also has ride-hailing apps like Uber, which typically cost a fraction of the price in the U.S. 

The U.S. Soccer team hosts Canada during the Concacaf Nations League Match at Exploria Stadium in Orlando Florida on Friday November 15 2019. ○ Soccer Blade

Qualified Teams Soccer World Cup 2022

32 teams will contest the 2022 World Cup. Apart from Qatar, all teams qualified automatically as hosts had to come through qualifiers to earn their places. 211 eligible teams competed in qualifying rounds organized by six individual FIFA member associations.

Interestingly, Qatar is the only tournament debutant. This means it is the first-ever World Cup where no qualifying team is making its first appearance. 24 competing teams also participated in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The United States is returning after missing out in 2018, while Canada will make their first appearance at a World Cup for 36 years since their last showing in Mexico (1986).

The Russian National Team was disqualified from the tournament because the country invaded Ukraine in 2022.

The current European Championships holders, Italy, were dealt a surprise exit in the qualifying stages after losing to North Macedonia in the play-off semi-finals.

This is their second successive World Cup omission. Italy is the only former World Cup winner that didn’t qualify for the tournament. 

Qualified Teams From Each Soccer Confederation

Here is the breakdown of the teams representing FIFA’s membership confederations, along with their World Cup records:

Asian Football Confederation (AFC)

TeamWorld Cup Appearances (incl. Qatar)World Cup Wins
Saudi Arabia6None
South Korea10None
Qualified World Cup Teams From Asian Football Confederation (AFC)

Confederation of African Football (CAF)

TeamWorld Cup Appearances (incl. Qatar)World Cup Wins
Qualified World Cup Teams From the Confederation of African Football (CAF)

Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)

TeamWorld Cup Appearances (incl. Qatar)World Cup Wins
Costa Rica6None
The United States10None
Qualified World Cup Teams From the Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)

South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)

TeamWorld Cup Appearances (incl. Qatar)World Cup Wins
Qualified World Cup Teams From South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)

TeamWorld Cup Appearances (incl. Qatar)World Cup Wins
Qualified World Cup Teams From the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)
Aerial view of Doha Qatar. ○ Soccer Blade

World Cup 2022 Groups – League Stage

The World Cup group stages mark the beginning of the tournament. Every team participates in this leg of the competition.

The 32 nations are divided into 8 groups of 4, with the top 2 teams from each pool advancing to the round of 16. Within the groups, each team plays against one another once. 

Group A

Team 1 Qatar
Team 2 Ecuador
Team 3Senegal
Team 4Netherlands
Favorites to Progress: Netherlands and Senegal
Group A FIFA 2022 World Cup

Group B

Team 1 England
Team 2 Iran
Team 3USA
Team 4Wales
Favorites to Progress: England and Wales
Group B FIFA 2022 World Cup

Group C

Team 1 Argentina
Team 2 Saudi Arabia
Team 3Mexico
Team 4Poland
Favorites to Progress: Argentina and Poland
Group C FIFA 2022 World Cup

Group D

Team 1 France
Team 2 Australia
Team 3Denmark
Team 4Tunisia
Favorites to Progress: France and Denmark
Group D FIFA 2022 World Cup

Group E

Team 1 Spain
Team 2 Costa Rica
Team 3Germany
Team 4Japan
Favorites to Progress: Spain and Germany
Group E FIFA 2022 World Cup

Group F

Team 1 Belgium
Team 2 Canada
Team 3Morocco
Team 4Croatia
Favorites to Progress: Belgium and Croatia
Group F FIFA 2022 World Cup

Group G

Team 1 Brazil
Team 2 Serbia
Team 3Switzerland
Team 4Cameroon
Favorites to Progress: Brazil and Switzerland
Group G FIFA 2022 World Cup

Group H

Team 1 Portugal
Team 2 Ghana
Team 3Uruguay
Team 4South Korea
Favorites to Progress: Portugal and Uruguay
Group H FIFA 2022 World Cup
Qualified Teams and Groups for 2022 World Cup in Qatar. ○ Soccer Blade

Schedule of The 2022 World Cup

Due to the unusual timing of the competition, the 2022 World Cup schedule is more compact than usual. It will last 29 days, marking the shortest tournament since the 32-team format was introduced.

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Here’s how the schedule breaks down: 

Qatar world cup 2022 stadium. Set for Football arenas. Soccer stadiums buildings. World cup. ○ Soccer Blade

Group Stages 

The group stages commence on Sunday, November 20th, when Qatar faces off against Ecuador in the opening game. The final group games will take place on Friday, December 2nd. The top 2 teams from each group will advance to the next round.

Round of 16 

In the round of 16, the winners of each group will play a runner-up from another group. These games will be played between December 3rd and 6th. The match-ups are set to go as follows: 

  1. Winner of Group A vs. Runner-Up of Group B
  2. Winner of Group C vs. Runner-Up of Group D
  3. Winner of Group E vs. Runner-Up of Group F
  4. Winner of Group G vs. Runner-Up of Group H
  5. Winner of Group B vs. Runner-Up of Group A
  6. Winner of Group D vs. Runner-Up of Group C
  7. Winner of Group F vs. Runner-Up of Group E
  8. Winner of Group H vs. Runner-Up of Group G


Round 16 winners advance to the quarter-finals, which will occur on December 9th and 10th. The games will be contested in the following order:

  1. Round of 16 Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2
  2. Round of 16 Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4
  3. Round of 16 Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6
  4. Round of 16 Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8


With just 4 teams remaining, the semi-finals will be settled on December 13th and 14th. Here’s how the match-ups will look:

  1. Winner of QF1 vs. Winner of QF2
  2. Winner of QF3 vs. Winner of QF4

Third-Place Playoff

The losing semi-finalists compete in the bronze medal game on December 17th. 


The holy grail of soccer, the World Cup Final, will be held on Sunday, December 18th, at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail.

The current betting favorites are Brazil, closely followed by France, England, Spain, Argentina, and Germany. 

Doha Qatar December 122021 view of 974 stadium from sea.stadium build with containers. ○ Soccer Blade

Soccer World Cup 2022: Overview

The 2022 World Cup takes place in Qatar under unique circumstances. The dates and location have caused a stir among fans, pundits, and players.

The 2022 World Cup is the first tournament during the northern hemisphere winter. It will disrupt the regular season in the world’s most popular leagues, including the Premier League, La Liga, and MLS

The Qatar World Cup is not only the first tournament to be held in winter but also the first to be held in an Arab nation.

It’s only the second to occur in Asia, with the first being the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. Interestingly, the 2022 tournament will also be the last to feature the 32-team format. The 2026 World Cup will debut a 48-team setup. 

We’ve gathered some of the internet’s most searched queries on the tournament. As a particularly newsworthy tournament, there are plenty of discussion points.

If you’re thinking of making the trip to Qatar or want to get the key details, here’s what you should know. 

The Aspire Sports Stadium Doha Qatar. ○ Soccer Blade

Why Is the Qatar World Cup so Controversial?

Unfortunately, the Qatar World Cup has been marred with controversy since it was announced as the host. Many people have protested FIFA’s decision to allow the tournament in Qatar, from bribery allegations to human rights violations. 

While we don’t want to dampen your spirits over the greatest tournament in the soccer calendar, it’s important to acknowledge the looming questions. Here’s a look at some of the main controversies surrounding the event: 

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Traditionally, World Cups have been played during northern or southern hemisphere summers, making for prime soccer game conditions.

Although several tournaments were played in extreme heat, the temperatures were low compared to a Qatari summer. Average temperatures in June and July are 96°F and 98°F and can rise to over 120°F. 

This caused major concern over both player and fan welfare. Health experts reasoned that the climate would not only affect players’ performance levels but would also pose risks to their health.

Competitors would require additional recovery times between games, lengthening the tournament. Moreover, doctors claimed that it would be impossible for teams and staff to acclimate. 

While suggestions were made to provide cooling systems in the stadiums, they were seen as major logistical obstacles, so the tournament was postponed until winter. This leads us to the next controversy.

United States World Cup 2022 Badge ○ Soccer Blade

Regular Season Disruption

Europe is the home of club soccer, boasting the most watched leagues with the most popular teams. The winter World Cup takes place mid-season, forcing several major leagues and tournaments to adapt their schedule accordingly.

The decision to disrupt the season was pushed back by league governing bodies and big teams. 

The tournament’s timing will undoubtedly cause fixture congestion. However, there are concerns over how players are expected to perform for their clubs and countries.

Time will tell whether the additional number of games will affect injury statistics. 


Now, let’s move on to some of the more serious issues. Since Qatar earned the right to host the World Cup (2011), bribery allegations have circulated.

Senior FIFA officials claimed corruption and money laundering were behind the selection.

While an internal investigation found no evidence of violations, key figures like Sepp Blatter and Michael J. Garcia were not convinced by the findings.

Human Rights Issues

One of the most glaring issues ahead of this World Cup is the suggestions of human rights violations and testing working conditions laborers face.

According to Amnesty International, those responsible for building and preparing the stadiums were subject to forced labor. The organization also reported that migrant workers were forced to pay recruitment fees to get employed. 

The Guardian, a British newspaper, investigated the situation further and found that some workers withheld food and water, had their I.D. paperwork taken away, and weren’t paid on time.

It was estimated that 4,000 workers could die due to the conditions and drew comparisons to slave labor. The Guardian followed up in 2021 by claiming 6,500 migrant workers had died. 

The Qatari government responded by stating there had only been 37 deaths among laborers constructing the stadiums. Safety measures have been implemented between 2014 and 2022 to improve working conditions.

However, with so many conflicting reports, it’s impossible to ignore the concerns.

DOHA QATAR CIRCA AUGUST 2019 Midday view of Doha cityscape with traditional dhow boats in the foreground. ○ Soccer Blade

Cultural and Political Problems

Qatar has never been recognized as a country with a strong soccer culture, drawing questions over whether they are a suitable host nation. Moreover, their failed attempts at naturalizing foreign-born players demonstrate a lack of grassroots-level soccer in the country. 

Cultural factors have also raised concerns for tournament goers. Qatar is governed by a Sharia-based legal system that has strict rules on alcohol consumption and LGBT rights.

Severe prison sentences and even the death penalty can be enforced for serious breaches of the law. However, there are no known cases of the death penalty for homosexuality or consuming alcohol.

Qatar has made commendable adjustments to accommodate a variety of cultures. Special exceptions are being made to allow rainbow pride flags in stadiums, and alcohol will be available from certain vendors.

Can You Drink at Qatar World Cup?

Despite the country’s strong laws prohibiting alcohol consumption, it is set to make concessions for soccer fans. At the time of writing, the situation is yet to be finalized.

However, 2019 trials suggest that there will be designated fan zones where attendees will be free to purchase and drink alcohol. 

There is also a good chance that Budweiser will be available inside stadiums as part of special hospitality packages. It is the official beer partner of the 2022 World Cup.

However, there are likely times when alcohol can be served, and drinking in the stands probably won’t be allowed.

Although alcohol isn’t illegal in Qatar, drinking or being drunk in public is so that you can expect stricter rules than in previous tournaments. Alcohol may only be purchased from licensed hotels, restaurants, and vendors.

Since it is not part of the Qatari culture, it is unlikely to be freely available outside these designated areas.

July 7 2018 Moscow Russia Logo of the FIFA world Cup 2022 in Qatar with the inscription see you in 2022. ○ Soccer Blade
Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade | + posts

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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Playing Soccer FAQ

Is soccer a contact sport?

While tackling with excessive force, charging, and striking opponents are illegal in soccer, players often overstep the boundaries. Although this generally results in appropriate sanctions being awarded, it doesn’t prevent significant contact from occurring.

What do soccer teams do at halftime?

At halftime, soccer teams exit the field. They return to their bench area. For youth teams, they may not have a locker room. However, many college and professional teams do head back to the locker room. 
The break is an opportunity for teams to collect themselves. They may talk about what is going well in the game, and what they need to resolve.

How do I join a soccer team?

Attend trials for schools, teams in your local area. If no trials are due, then contact the coach to see if you can join a practice. Search for local soccer teams and try a few to see if it suits your ability and it also needs to be a place that you would enjoy. Scholarships are also available depending on your age, ability, and location. 

Why does a soccer ball curve?

The angle and speed with which the soccer player’s boot strikes the ball determine how far the ball travels. The ball won’t curve or spin if the player hits it right in the middle with their foot following through in a completely straight line.

What are some injuries players get when playing soccer? 

The most common knee and ankle injuries are mild to severe sprains, strains, and tears. Other less common knee and ankle injuries include dislocations and fractures.

What are some ways to pass a soccer ball?

+ Inside foot: Using the area above and inside of the big toe.
+ Outside foot: This creates a spin on the ball to swerve the ball around players
+ The Laces: A powerful volley can be performed with a straight leg swing.
+ Spin: If the toes get underneath the ball with some force you create a backspin.
+ Back heel: Connect the heel with the ball to reverse play.
+ Header: Often used for clearing and shooting, but can be a creative passing move.
+ Body: Use any part of the body to deflect the ball into the path you desire.

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