MOSCOW, July 15. /TASS/. The world’s governing football body, FIFA, approved on Wednesday a schedule of matches for the 2022 World Cup, the press service of FIFA announced on Wednesday.
"Al Bayt Stadium, a 60,000-capacity arena that takes its name and shape from the traditional tents used by nomadic peoples in the Gulf region, will be the stage for hosts Qatar to kick off the tournament on Monday, 21 November 2022 at 13:00 local time (11:00 CET)," the statement from FIFA reads.
"Final confirmed to take place at 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium at 18:00 on 18 December," according to the statement. "Four matches a day throughout the group stage ensures optimal rest time for the teams."
"Khalifa International Stadium will be the setting for the play-off for third place on 17 December," according to FIFA. "The final will kick off one day later at 18:00 at Lusail Stadium in front of an 80,000 crowd."
"With the aim of providing all teams with optimal rest between their matches, the group stage will last 12 days and, with four matches per day, it promises a full and exciting schedule for fans," the statement continues. "The tournament’s compact nature - with no air travel needed to move between the venues - will allow organizers, for the first time, to optimize specific match demands for the benefit and comfort of fans, teams and media."
Qatar is set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup between November 21 and December 18 at eight stadiums in seven cities across the country, namely in Doha, Lusail, Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Umm Salal and Madinat ash Shamal.
Qatar won the right to host the matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on December 2, 2010.
In March 2015, FIFA officially announced that the 22nd edition of FIFA’s flagship event would be played in November and December 2022, with the final match set for December 18, 2022 - Qatar National Day - and with the objective, in principle, of holding the tournament for 28 days.
"The iconic image of FIFA World Cup champions France lifting the trophy at Luzhniki Stadium [in the Russian capital of Moscow] is still fresh in the memory of every football fan," the world’s governing football body said in its statement on Wednesday.
"Exactly two years after that historic occasion on 15 July 2018, the unveiling of the match schedule for the next edition invites the football world to dream of a new beginning - one that, now, has a precise time and place to start," the statement added.
Russia hosted its first-ever FIFA World Cup in 2018, which kicked off in Moscow with a remarkable opening show at Luzhniki Stadium on the evening of June 14, 2018 and ended with a spectacular final match, played also at the Luzhniki Stadium, where France confidently defeated Croatia 4-2 to win the much-coveted World Cup Trophy.
The championship was organized at 12 stadiums in 11 cities across Russia, namely in the cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said after the world championship that Russia had staged "the best World Cup ever." In late December 2018, FIFA announced in its statement that the World Cup in Russia set a new record as far as audiences go in the history of world football championships since over half of the world’s population watched the matches on TV at home, out of home or on digital platforms.