FIFA World Cup 2022 is a special one, with Qatar being the first Middle Eastern country to host the prestigious event. And because of that, the 22nd edition of the footballing championship has been shifted to a winter schedule instead of June, as means to avoid the scorching, Arabian summer heat — marking the first-ever winter World Cup. France will be aiming to defend its 2018 title, while the Argentinian legend Lionel Messi reaches for his final shot at lifting the World Cup, before bidding adieu to the tournament.
When does the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar start?
The opening game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup commences on Sunday, November 20, at 9:30pm IST. The host nation Qatar will play against Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, with an audience of 60,000 people. The tournament is scheduled to end on December 20.
FIFA World Cup 2022 schedule
32 teams will compete over a period of 29 days, across 64 matches. Nations are split into eight groups of four, from which only the top two progress into the round of 16 aka the knockout stage. The winner will ultimately be decided on December 20, and each team only gets one shot at proving their worth — no second legs, as seen with European tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League.
Here’s a look at the eight groups, marks A–H, for the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
GROUP A: Qatar (host), Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
GROUP B: England, Iran, United States, Wales
GROUP C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
GROUP D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Australia
GROUP E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica
GROUP F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
GROUP G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
GROUP H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, Korea Republic
The knockout rounds kick off on December 3, followed by the quarter-finals on December 9, and the semi-finals on December 13.
FIFA World Cup 2022: How to watch?
How to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in India
You can catch up on all the World Cup action in India, in both standard televised format and via online streaming. The tournament will be broadcast on the paid DTH (direct-to-home) TV network Sports18 — more specifically, its subsequent Sports18 and Sports 18 HD channels. As per TelecomTalk, the channels are available across Tata Play, Airtel DTH, Jio TV+, Sun Direct, Dish TV, and D2H.
Major televised events as such are also gradually migrating toward online streaming. In India, the FIFA World Cup 2022 will be live-streamed on the JioCinema app and website. The games will be streamed free of cost, with commentary available in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, and Tamil.
“So there is no subscription fees that anybody needs to pay. You can just download the app and start watching football,” said Anil Jayaraj, chief executive, Viacom18, Sports, in a quote to LiveMint. The company clinched the deal to telecast FIFA matches in India last year, and it will be available in 4K quality. The JioCinema app is available to download on Android and iOS devices.
How to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in the US
In the US, the Peacock app is the go-to place to stream the first 12 FIFA World Cup 2022 matches for free. After that, starting November 24, you’ll have to upgrade to Peacock Premium to catch the remaining 52 games of the tournament. The livestreams will be in Spanish, while the Premium subscription costs $5.
How to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in Canada
In Canada, all World Cup matches will be streamed live on TSN (The Sports Network), the TSN.ca website, and the TSN app.
How to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in Australia
Qualified for a fifth straight World Cup, Australian fans can catch the action via the SBS service — SBS and SBS VICELAND, the latter is a secondary channel, helpful for when two games are being held at the same time. One could also stream the games for free through the SBS On Demand website.
How to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in the UK