First World Cup in the Middle East
The tournament will be played in Qatar, marking the first time it’s being hosted in the Middle East. Qatar beat out the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia to win the bid in 2010, which was awarded by Sepp Blatter. We later discovered that two members of the FIFA Executive Committee had their voting rights suspended following allegations that they would accept money in exchange for votes.
First winter World Cup
This is the first World Cup to be played during our winter months, and that is to beat the heat of June and July that Qatar experiences and avoid the potential health risks of playing in such extreme heat.
So how hot are expecting the temperatures to get?
The average high in July is 106 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average in November is 84 degrees Fahrenheit and 75 degrees Fahrenheit in December.
Air conditioning in the stadiums
To combat the heat, though it figures to be fairly comfortable during the tournament, the stadiums at the 2022 FIFA World Cup will have air conditioning.
Tournament start date moved back a day
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will officially begin on Nov 20, 2022. It was set to begin on Nov. 21 with Senegal vs. Netherlands as the opening match, but it was moved up a day to allow the tournament host to play in the opening match.
There are eight different venues for the tournament in five different host cities. They are as follows:
- Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail (80,000 capacity)
- Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor (60,000 capacity)
- Stadium 974 in Doha (40,000 capacity)
- Al Thumama Stadium in Doha (40,000 capacity)
- Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan (45,416 capacity)
- Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan (45,350 capacity)
- Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan (44,740 capacity)
- Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah (40,000 capacity)
Four years after hosting, the Russians became ineligible following the invasion of Ukraine. They were barred from FIFA competitions, while clubs of the country were also booted from UEFA tournaments.
The ball that will be used at the 2022 World Cup is from adidas, and it’s called Al Rihla Pro.
The mascot for the 2022 World Cup is La’eeb.
The official song
The official song of the 2022 World Cup is “Hayya Hayya,” which means “Better Together,” performed by Trinidad Cardona, Davido and Aisha.
Video Assistant Referee will be used at the 2022 World Cup after being used in 2018. Among the incidents it will be used for are dangerous challenges, penalty kick decisions and offsides.
Stephanie Frappart from France, Rwandan Salima Mukansanga and Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan became the first female referees to be appointed to a men’s World Cup.
Semi-auto offside system
A new support tool for video match officials and on-field officials will be used at the World Cup. The system helps them make faster, more accurate decisions when it comes to offside. The new system uses 12 dedicated tracking cameras underneath the roof of the stadium to track the ball and up to 29 data points for players to calculate their exact position. The ball will also have a sensor for measurement.
Biggest team missing is …
Easy, it is Italy. They have shockingly failed to qualify for the last two World Cups. They were upset by North Macedonia at home in March and will once again be spectators.
Best player missing is …
The safest choice would be Manchester City’s new striker Erling Haaland. His Norwegian side finished third behind Turkey and the Netherlands in their respective group in the UEFA qualifiers.
Squad regulations have changed
FIFA approved a 26-man squad, up from the normal 23.
Same goes for the number of substitutions
Coaches will now be allowed to make five substitutions at the 2022 World Cup. These five subs can be made in three different windows during the game. In the event a knockout stage match goes to extra time, teams will have an additional sub and another opportunity to make that change.
How many games are there?
There will be 64 official matches at the tournament.
Are the stadiums fairly close to each other?
Conveniently close. The stadiums are within a 35-mile radius from Doha, the capital of Qatar.
How small is Qatar compared to past hosts?
Qatar is ranked 164th in area and 148th in population when it comes to the world’s sovereign states. The United States is about 849 times bigger than Qatar. The U.S. state of Connecticut is the closest comparison to the size of Qatar, and even then Connecticut is 8% larger than the host nation and with a higher population (1.1 million more people live in Connecticut).
Is there a country that has made every World Cup?
Yes. The Brazil national team is the only country to have qualified for every single World Cup.
Brazil, Argentina, England, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Serbia and Morocco all finished World Cup qualifying undefeated.
Changes ahead of the World Cup
Both Iran and Morocco axed their managers ahead of the World Cup. Iran ended up bringing back Dragan Skoviv four days after firing him while Vahid Halilhodzic is out with Walid Regragui in as Morocco boss.
When is the final?
The final will be played on Dec. 18 at Lusail Iconic Stadium at 10 a.m. ET.
Where will the 2026 World Cup be played?
The next World Cup after this one will be hosted in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
Do we have a host picked out for the 2030 World Cup?
No. The host will be chosen at the 74th FIFA Congress in 2024, but the following are confirmed to bid:
- Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile
- Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia
- Spain and Portugal
When is the final?
The final will be played on December 18 at Lusail Iconic Stadium at 10 am ET.