Photo by Mohammed Dabbous/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Qatar host the footballing world for the Fifa World Cup from November 21 to December 18, 2022 before the United States, Mexico and Canada will host the next tournament in 2026.
Fifa awarded host nation honours to Qatar back in 2010 against competition from the USA, Australia, Japan and South Korea. This year’s edition will also be the first tournament to be held in the Middle East, and will also be the first to occur outside of the European summer.
Temperatures in Qatar range from 40º to 50º during the European summer, thus making it impossible for a normal World Cup schedule. Humidity can also reach between 40 and 60% while even at night, temperatures can stay around 29º. Rainfall is also rare in the summer.
As the dry season lasts from June to October in Qatar, Fifa opted to move the 2022 World Cup to a winter schedule for the first time. The average temperature in the capital city of Doha in November ranges from 21º to 30º, while falling to circa 16º to 25º for December.
Qatar has also moved to help combat the conditions by installing air-con in the stadia that will be used. Large nozzles surround the pitches, while grills will pump cool air around the stands. The cooled air will also be drawn back in, re-cooled, filtered and pushed out again.
With the decision to move the World Cup from its traditional end-of-season summer slot, the Qatar tournament will start on November 21 and run to December 18, 2022. But the opening match will not feature the host nation, who will face Ecuador in the third fixture.
Senegal and the Netherlands will, instead, open the tournament before England face Iran. The USA and Wales will also end the action on the opening day, with four matches to take place during each day of the group stage, which runs until December 2, before the last 16.
The quarter-finals will begin on December 9 and run until the semi-finals on December 13. December 7, 8, 11, 12, 15 and 16 have also been assigned as rest days, with the third-place play-off tie on December 17 before the final on December 18 – held at the Lusail Stadium.
Following the Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup, the next tournament will return to its traditional summer slot in 2026. The USA, Mexico and Canada won joint-hosting rights for the edition back in 2018, and will welcome an extended tournament of 48 teams from the current 32.
The Fifa congress elected for the joint-bid with 134 votes, ahead of Morocco with 65 votes. It was confirmed earlier in 2022, via ESPN, that 11 major cities in the USA, three in Mexico and two in Canada will host fixtures during the next Fifa World Cup after Qatar come 2026.
Those cities will be Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco/Bay Area and Seattle from America, Toronto and Vancouver from Canada, plus Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara from Mexico.
As well as being the first of Fifa’s expanded 48-team World Cups, the 2026 edition will also be the first that multiple nations will co-host since Japan and South Korea in 2002. It is also the first that three nations host, and is Canada’s first, the USA’s second and Mexico’s third.
No nation has previously hosted or co-hosted three World Cups before Mexico will get the honour at the next tournament after Qatar. Italy (1934, ‘90), France (‘38, ‘98), Brazil (1950, 2014), Mexico (‘70, ‘86) and Germany (‘74, 2006) have previously hosted multiple editions.
Fifa are yet to decide the host nation for the 2030 World Cup, but it will not be a joint-bid from England and Ireland. The FAs of the home nations dropped the bid in 2022, via Sky, in favour of focusing on Euro 2028. Turkey have also bid to host the European Championship.