World Cup fans will have the option to watch an uncommon four games every day on TV, spread out more than 11 hours, during the group stage of the Qatar 2022 competition after the schedule was affirmed on Wednesday.
With the moderately short travel distances for the venues in and around Doha, it could be desirable for fans who travel to the 32-team competition to go to numerous games every day.
The early games will commence at 1 p.m. local time, with the fourth match beginning at 10 p.m. local time and completing just before midnight.
The competition’s opening game on Nov. 21, will be at the 60,000-seat capacity Al Bayt Stadium, with its particular “tent” style covering.
The final on Dec. 18 will be held at the 80,000 Lusail Stadium, which, similar to Al Bayt, will likewise have a semifinal.
Nasser Al Khater, CEO of the Qatar World Cup organizing association, said plans for the competition were well on schedule with 90% of the work completed on streets and infrastructure.
“When we talk about the stadiums, more than 85% of the work has been completed and really now, the last two years, we’re focusing on our operational readiness and making sure we get the fan experience plans in place,” he said.
“The World Cup is always a festival of football, a real celebration for the fans who come on-site and watch,” FIFA chief tournaments and events officer Colin Smith said. “In Qatar, with the compact nature, this is going to be amplified even more with 32 teams and 32 sets of supporters all in and around Doha.”
FIFA will wait until the draw for the competition is held in March or April of 2022 preceding appointing explicit games to venues and time slots. That will empower it to more readily adjust games to time regions for domestic TV partners of the competing teams.
The competition was changed from its usual June-July slot because of the warmth in the Gulf state and is the first that will be held in the middle of the European season.
The competition draw for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is set to be pushed back by two months after FIFA rescheduled qualifying playoffs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
FIFA said in June its council consented to postpone an intercontinental four-team playoff – from March 2022 to June that year – because of fixture congestion.
The 32-team competition draw was planned for April 2022, likely in Doha. The soonest option is currently to hold it in June in front of the Nov. 21-Dec. 18 competition.
FIFA has consented to a $1.5 billion relief plan to help with the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the global game.
FIFA’s plan implies it will dip into its reserves to provide national leagues with various awards and interest-free loans to adapt to budget hits.