FIFA World Cup 2022 is a special one with Qatar being the first Middle Eastern country to host the prestigious event. And so the 22nd edition of the football championship has been moved to a winter schedule instead of June, as a means of avoiding the scorching Arab summer heat – which marks the first ever winter World Cup. France will be aiming to defend their 2018 title as Argentina legend Lionel Messi reaches for his final shot at lifting the World Cup before bidding farewell to the tournament.
When does FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar start?
The opening match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup begins on Sunday 20 November at 9:30 PM IST. Host nation Qatar will play Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, with a crowd of 60,000. The tournament is scheduled to end on December 20.
FIFA World Cup 2022 schedule
32 teams will compete over a period of 29 days divided into 64 matches. The nations are divided into eight groups of four, from which only the top two advance to the round of 16, also known as the knockout stage. The winner will ultimately be decided on December 20, with each team getting just one chance to prove their worth – no second legs as seen with European tournaments such as the UEFA Champions League.
Here’s a look at the eight groups, labeled A–H, for the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
GROUP A: Qatar (host), Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
GROUP B: England, Iran, USA, 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, Republic of Korea
The knockout rounds start on 3 December, followed by the quarter-finals on 9 December and the semi-finals on 13 December.
FIFA World Cup 2022: How to watch?
How to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in India
You can follow all the World Cup action in India, both in standard TV format and via online streaming. The tournament will be telecast on the paid DTH (direct-to-home) television network Sports18 — more specifically, its successor Sports18 and Sports 18 HD channels. According to 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 towards online streaming. In India, FIFA World Cup 2022 will be live streamed on the JioCinema app and website. The games will be streamed for free, with commentary available in English, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali and Tamil.
“So there are no subscription fees that anyone has to pay. You can just download the app and start watching football,” Anil Jayaraj, CEO, Viacom18, Sports, said in a quote to LiveMint. The company entered into the agreement to broadcast FIFA matches in India last year and it will be available in 4K quality.The JioCinema app is available for download on Android and iOS devices.
How to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in the USA
In the US, the Peacock app is the best place to stream the first 12 FIFA World Cup 2022 matches for free. Then, from November 24, upgrade to Peacock Premium to catch the remaining 52 games of the tournament. Live streams will be in Spanish, while the Premium subscription costs $5.
Meanwhile, the English-language broadcast rights are owned by Fox, with the matches broadcast on the Fox and FS1 channels. Spanish-language broadcasts will be on NBC-owned Telemundo.
How to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in Canada
In Canada, all World Cup games 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 successive World Cup, Australian fans can catch the action via the SBS service – SBS and SBS VICELAND, the latter being a secondary channel useful when two matches are held at the same time. You could also stream the games for free through the SBS On Demand website.
How to watch FIFA World Cup 2022 in the UK
In the UK, the FIFA World Cup 2022 broadcast will be spread across the BBC and ITV services at no cost. Lineups will also be available to stream online via BBC iPlayer and ITVX.