Where it is?
The 22nd edition of the Fifa World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar. It will be the first time football’s biggest tournament will be held in the Middle East, and in an Arab and a Muslim-majority country.
When is it?
The 2022 World Cup will break with tradition and not be played during the summer months, given the searing temperatures in Qatar which can climb up to as high as 50C.
Instead, we have the delights of a winter World Cup to look forward to which means moaning Premier League managers will be finally granted their wish of having a mid-season break. Albeit one which will then stage the small matter of some minor football competition.
So will it be played in December?
The likelihood is that the tournament will begin on November 18 and run during a reduced time-frame of around 28 days. The final is likely to be staged on 18 December, 2022 which coincides with Qatar National Day. Even then it will be hot with temperatures around the 30C mark.
Qatar’s a bit of a left-field choice isn’t it?
Just a bit. When Fifa announced Qatar had won the rights to stage the 2022 edition of the tournament, it was met with shaking heads and debate over how a country with it’s illegality of same-sex relationships can stage football’s jewel in the crown.
What other issues have risen?
How long do you have? From the moment Qatar was controversially awarded the World Cup it has been blighted by allegations of corruption. The bid process has come under FBI investigation by Swiss and American authorities that led to the resignation of Fifa President Sepp Blatter.
Qatar has also been heavily criticised for the treatment of around 1.6 million migrant workers constructing stadiums and World Cup infrastructure projects.
The heat has been another topic of debate. Despite the tournament being moved to the winter months, temperatures will still be in excess of 30c. Pitch side they will be higher. Qatar bid’s chief executive, Hassan al-Thawadi says the heat will not be an issue and stadiums are in the process of being built which incorporate cooling systems.
The Khalifa International Stadium in Doha hosted it’s first match since being renovated with air-conditioning last year.
Anything else I should know about the 2022 tournament?
Yes. This tournament will be the last to involve 32 teams, with an increase to 48 teams scheduled from the 2026 tournament.
How can I get tickets for Qatar?
Patience is the key here. Tickets are not yet available and won’t go on sale until 2021 at the earliest. For the 2018 World Cup, the tickets were available from September 2017. So, for the time being, sit back, relax and enjoy this summer’s offering in Russia.