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FIFA WORLD CUP 2022  COUNTDOWN : All you need to know about the FIFA World Cup 

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar kicks off on Sunday, 20 November at the Al Bayt Stadium when the hosts take on Ecuador in Group A.

The tournament was originally set to begin a day later with Senegal’s game against the Netherlands at Al Thumama Stadium, but Qatar’s match was moved forward in August to allow them to open their home tournament.

The final will be played at the Lusail Stadium in Doha a week before Christmas on Sunday, 18 December.

The 2022 World Cup will begin with 32 teams in eight groups of four:

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, the Netherlands

Group B: England, Iran, the US, 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

Four matches will be played each day during the group stage, which will run over a 12-day period and see winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16.

Unlike at Euro 2020, there will be a third-place play-off game on 17 December.

The first two rounds of matches will kick off at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m., and 10 p.m. local time in Qatar (3.30 p.m., 6.30 p.m., 9.30 p.m. and 12.30 a.m. in Sri Lanka time).

Kick-off times for the final round of group games and knockout-round matches will be 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. local time in Qatar (8.30 p.m. and 12.30 a.m. Sri Lanka time).

The final is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. local time in Qatar (8.30 p.m. Sri Lanka time).

The group games will take place across eight stadiums: Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Education City Stadium, and Al Janoub Stadium.

All European league seasons have been adjusted to accommodate a World Cup that takes place in the middle of the domestic calendar.

The season started a week earlier than normal, with 16 match days taking place up to the weekend, 12 and 13 November, before the tournament kicks off on November 20.

The Premier League will resume on Boxing Day following the World Cup final, which takes place on 18 December.

The final match round of the 2022/23 season will be played on 28 May 2023.