World Cup 2022 Full Schedule

It’s 2022 so that means it’s World Cup year! And this edition of the tournament promises to be like none ever seen before with its Northern Hemisphere winter scheduling and squeezed timeframe meaning that the matches will come thicker and faster than ever! And then there is the fact that this will be the first ever tournament to be played in the Middle East, with Qatar the hosts for this unique World Cup. It’s time to start getting excited.

The 32 teams have been confirmed and nearly all of the big guns will be there. The bookmakers are already sharpening their odds and outright markets are available to bet on. So who will claim the biggest prize in football? And how should you approach your betting on the biggest football competition in the world?

World Cup Tournament Structure

Just as the last six World cup tournaments, this competition in Qatar features 32 teams but is played in a shorter timeframe of just 29 days. Your World cup 2022 betting schedule is tighter than ever before. Here’s what’s what: 

Tournament: Like the most recent World Cup tournaments, we see eight groups of four teams battling it out in Qatar. The top two teams in each group qualify for the second round, or Round of 16, to be followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals, third-place playoff and then the final itself. That’s a total of 64 matches to be played eight host venues in just 29 days.  


All 32 teams have now been confirmed for the main event which kicks off in Qatar in November. As you would expect, most of the big boys will be there, including European powerhouses France, Germany, Spain and England. Reigning European champions Italy are a notable exception, however. The Netherlands are back after missing out 4 years ago, while Poland, Wales and Portugal all navigated tricky Playoff paths to take their position in the group stages.

The five African teams to qualify have been confirmed as Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon, Morocco and Tunisia. From South America, five-times winners Brazil have been joined by rivals Argentina, along with Ecuador and Uruguay. The Asian qualifiers are Japan, South Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia. And then hosts Qatar, of course.

One of the most surprising finalists are Canada, who topped the CONCACAF section to qualify for their first finals in 36 years. They will be joined by the United States and Mexico.

The remaining two qualifiers were Costa Rica and Australia, who prevailed in the intercontinental playoff games.

When the final schedule will be finalized? 

The World Cup draw took place in Doha at the beginning of April 2022. The eight groups of four teams were decided, and some big guns found themselves pitched together. This was no more apparent than in the shape of Germany and Spain in Group E – the two previous recent winners being joined by Costa Rica and Japan in what is surely the tournament’s Group of Death.

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Qualified Teams

All 32 teams have now been confirmed for Qatar 2022: 13 teams from Europe, five from Africa, five from Asia, four from South America, and four from North America, with Australia completing the set after vanquishing Peru on penalties in the final intercontinental playoff game.

Among those to have qualified include defending champions France, five-times winners Brazil and four-times winners Germany. Indeed, nine of the current top-ten FIFA-ranked teams have booked their tickets, with the notable exception of European champions and four-times winners Italy. The Italians were surprisingly beaten by North Macedonia in the Playoff semi-finals. North Macedonia were then vanquished by Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in the final. Poland and Wales were the other European playoff winners.

Other notable teams to have reached the finals include former champions Spain, Argentina, Uruguay and England, while some of the surprise packages include Canada, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Ecuador.

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Important World Cup Dates and Times  🕒

What are the important dates to make note of for your World Cup betting schedule?

Tournament schedule

Well, the schedule has been finalized as follows (all kick-offs are in Ireland time):

  • Sonday 2oth November 2022 – Opening ceremony and matches
  • Qatar vs Ecuador – 16:00
  • Saturday 3rd December 2022 – Round of 16 begins
  • First match – 15:00
  • Friday 9th December 2022 – Quarter-finals begin
  • First match – 15:00
  • Tuesday 13th December 2022 -Semi-finals begin
  • First match – 19:00
  • Saturday 17th December 2022 – Third-place playoff
  • Kick-off – 15:00
  • Sunday 18th December 2022 – Final
  • Kick-off – 15:00


The times of matches are a mixed blessing for Irish viewers. While the games will all be played in the daytime, some will prove a little early for those who find themselves at work.

  • First two rounds of group matches: 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm (Ireland time)
  • Final round of group matches and knockout games: 3pm and 7pm (Ireland time)
  • Final: 3pm (Ireland time)

The draw

The Qatar 2022 World Cup finals draw took place in early April 2022 at a star-studded affair in Doha. The eight groups were selected and some intriguing match-ups were thrown up. Here is the draw in full:

  • Group A: Qatar (hosts), Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
  • Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales
  • Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
  • Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
  • Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
  • Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
  • Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
  • Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

Other Leagues’ Schedules 🕒

This is the first ever World cup that is not played in a northern hemisphere summer. The awarding of the event to Qatar caused controversy by the nature of the fact the traditional World cup staging times of June/July would have fallen during a period of extreme heat in the Asian nation. A change to the scheduling time was therefore essential.

The knock-on consequences of this change of schedule is the fact that this World cup doesn’t fall outside of the European football season. With the vast majority of top players based in Europe, that means that the main leagues in countries such as England, Spain, France, Italy and Germany will be impacted by the 28-game tournament falling inside the regular season times. In England in particular – where there has never traditionally been a winter break – the World cup has a huge impact on the regular season scheduling.

Major continental events such as the Champions League have also been forced to separate fixtures in an unprecedented way. And all European seasons will also be extended into the summer months to account for the timing of this unique Word Cup.

What is the structure of the World cup?

32 teams are separated into four-team groups and face each other in a round-robin format. The top two from each group then progress to a knockout phase leading up to the final.

Who’s the host of the football World cup to be played in 2022?

For the very first time, the football World cup heads to the Middle East as the small nation of Qatar plays host. The opening match will be played on November 20th between Qatar and Ecuador

Who are the favourites for the World cup to be played in Qatar?

Reigning champions France are joined by CONMEBOL group winners and five-time champions Brazil as the favourites to win the tournament.

Where can I bet on the World cup?

Every single sports betting site worth its salt will be offering odds on the World cup, with many of the bigger sites offering literally thousands of betting opportunities.