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FIFA 2022: Desert spectacle beckons

The scare of COVID-19 pandemic might not have subsided fully, but the Year 2022 appears to ring in some positivity with the stage set for the first ever World Cup football festival in the Arabian desert. Truly the globe’s biggest sporting spectacle apart from the Olympic Games, the FIFA World Cup to be hosted by Qatar has its own uniqueness unlike the previous editions. Here we present all that you wanted to know about the event in this infographic.

FIFA 2022: Desert spectacle beckons

CHENNAI: To be held for the first time in the Arabian Gulf (Venue – Qatar from November 20 to December 18), the International Football Federation or Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has rung in changes in the usual format, even deviating from the normal schedule to have the tournament in winter to escape the summer heat. In addition, the duration of the so-called ‘Desert Spectacle’ has been reduced to just 29 days – the shortest since the 1978 edition. For a change, this tournament allows each participating team to have more players in the squad due to the pandemic. Recently it was decided to have 26 players in a squad, which is three more than the previously permitted numbers. Meanwhile, the draw for the tournament has also thrown up some fascinating matches in the group stages, though the fan favourites still remain same with Brazil being the top pick, followed by France, England, Spain, Argentina, Germany etc

  • This is the first World Cup to be played during the winter months deviating from the usual June-July calendar.

  • This will mark the first time the World Cup will be hosted in the Middle East.

  • All stadiums are approximately within a 35-mile radius from Doha, making it incredibly convenient for fans.

  • At just 29 days long, this edition of the World Cup will be the shortest since the 1978 tournament.

  • This edition is also the last to feature 32 teams as from the next World Cup 48 teams will be in fray.

  • The 2022 edition will kick off with an even greater celebration for local fans as host country Qatar will now play Ecuador in the Sunday opener.

MATCH TIMINGS: All kick-offs are in Qatar Standard Timing (QST) which is 02.30 hours behind IST.

THE TROPHY: From 1930 to 1970 the champions received the Jules Rimet Trophy, named after the man who was the architect of the quarterly spectacle. After 1970, the Fifa World Cup replaced the Jules Rimet trophy, which was handed over to Brazil, who won the 1958, 1962 and 1970 editions

GROUPING: (Please relate the group colours with the colours used in the calender)

A - Qatar (QAT), Ecuador (ECU) , Senegal (SEN), Netherlands (NED)

B - England (ENG), Iran (IRN), USA (USA), Wales (WAL)

C - Argentina (ARG), Saudi Arabia (KSA), Mexico (MEX), Poland (POL)

D - France (FRA), Australia (AUS), Denmark (DEN), Tunisia (TUN)

E - Spain (ESP), Costa Rica (CRC), Germany (GER), Japan (JPN)

F - Belgium (BEL), Canada (CAN), Morocco (MAR), Croatia (CRO)

G - Brazil (BRA), Serbia (SRB), Switzerland (SUI), Cameroon (CMR)

H - Portugal (POR), Ghana (GHA), Uruguay (URU), Korea Republic (KOR)


THE VENUES: The proximity of stadiums makes this tournament compact providing fans with an opportunity to watch more than one game each day. All stadiums are eco-friendly with latest technology to control temperature.



Tournament finale will be played at Lusail Stadium

Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor

Khalifa Intl Stadium, Doha

Al Thumama Stadium, Al Thumama

Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan

Lusail Stadium, Lusail

Stadium 974, Ras Abu Aboud, Doha

Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan

Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah


1930: Uruguay beat Argentina (4-2)

1934: Italy beat Czechoslovakia (2-1 extra time)

1938: Italy beat Hungary (4-2)

1950: Uruguay beat Brazil (2-1)

1954: W. Germany beat Hungary (3-2)

1958: Brazil beat Sweden (5-2)

1962: Brazil beat Czechoslovakia (3-1)

1966: England beat W. Germany (4-2 extra time)

1970: Brazil beat Italy (4-1)

1974: W. Germany beat Netherlands (2-1)

1978: Argentina beat Netherlands (3-1 extra time)

1982: Italy beat W. Germany (3-1)

1986: Argentina beat W. Germany (3-2)

1990: W. Germany beat Argentina (1-0)

1994: Brazil beat Italy (3-2 on penalties after goalless stalemate)

1998: France beat Brazil (3-0)

2002: Brazil beat Germany (2-0)

2006: Italy beat France (5-3 on penalties after 1-1 stalemate)

2010: Spain beat Netherlands (1-0 extra time)

2014: Germany beat Argentina (1-0 extra time)

2018: France beat Croatia (4-2)


  • It was way back in 1930 the first World Cup for football was organised by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the inaugural winner was Uruguay.

  • Except during World War II, the World Cup has been organised every four years. After the 1938 edition the tournament was revived in 1950.

Messi and Ronaldo

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored goals at four separate World Cups, a feat also achieved by Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. If the Portuguese star scores in Qatar, he will be out on his own as the only player to have scored at five editions.

  • Two more appearances will put Lionel Messi level with Diego Maradona’s Argentinian record of 21 at World Cup finals. If Messi and Argentina reach the final at Qatar 2022 and he plays in all seven matches, he will go past Lothar Matthaus (tournament-record 25 appearances

Graphics: Varghese Kallada | Data Research: TK Mohandoss

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