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World Cup Countdown: 2022 Qatar preview, rules, format, rosters, match info, how to watch

Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards and Nicholas Mendola begin their 2022 World Cup predictions by revealing which teams they think will reach the knockout stage in Qatar.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is so close and the countdown is well and truly on ahead of the first-ever World Cup tournament to be held in the Middle East.

[ MORE: World Cup 2022 hub ]

32 nations have qualified and all eyes will be on them for 29 days from mid-November to mid-December, as a truly unique tournament will take place across Qatar.

Over the last 12 years Qatar have been planning to host the world and this tournament will be unlike any other.

Below are answers to some of the key questions ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!

Why is the World Cup in November this year?

After the World Cup was awarded to Qatar in 2010 it was quickly decided that it would be too hot to host the tournament during its normal window in the summer months of June and July. Therefore the first-ever winter World Cup would take place. Domestic leagues around the world, and particularly in Europe, have had to postpone their seasons to accommodate this winter World Cup. Most will restart in late December and early January.

What are the laws in Qatar for the World Cup?

Laws around drinking alcohol in Qatar have been relaxed for the tournament as fans will have certain zones were they can drink inside and outside stadiums. There are also designated fan zones and drunk tanks where fans can sober up. In a recent interview with our partners in the UK at Sky Sports, the leader of Qatar’s World Cup bid, Nasser Al Khater, said everybody is welcome in Qatar, including people from the LGBTQ+ community. He also said fans from the LGBTQ+ community can bring rainbow flags and show affection. Qatar has not changed anti-LGBTQ+ laws amid concerns of visiting fans, but Al Khater told Sky that “none will be discriminated against during the 29-day tournament and that gay fans can hold hands.”

What dates are the World Cup 2022?

The World Cup starts on November 20, 2022 and the final is on December 18, 2022.

What time do games kick off at the World Cup?

Group stage game kick off times will be at 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm (all ET).

Where and how can I watch the World Cup games live in the USA?

In the USA you can watch on TV in English on Fox and on TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock.

How do World Cup groups work?

Each of the eight World Cup groups have four teams in them. The top two teams in each group advance to the last 16 to participate in the knockout rounds. The bottom two teams in each group are knocked out. If you win a game in the knockout round you advance to the next round and if you lose, you’re out.

If teams finish level on points in their World Cup group stage standings, the following criteria is used to determine which team will advance to the last 16:

1) goal difference in all matches
2) number of goals scored in all group matches
3) points obtained in matches played between teams in question
4) goal difference in matches played between teams in question
5) number of goals scored in matches played between teams in question
6) Fair play points in all group matches
7) Drawing of lots

How many players can you bring to the World Cup? What is the size of the roster?

Each team can select a 26-man squad for their World Cup roster. That is an increase on the usual 23-man squad due to the extra demands of squeezing in a World Cup in the middle of the club season.

What is the World Cup mascot called for 2022?

The mascot for Qatar 2022 is called Laʼeeb. That name is an Arabic term for ‘super-skilled player’ and Qatar say the mascot will be known for his ‘youthful spirit’ and ‘spreading joy and confidence’ everywhere he travels.

How many tickets have been sold for the 2022 World Cup? And which countries have bought the most tickets?

95 percent of tickets have been sold for the World Cup. That amounts to almost three million tickets. The top 10 countries where tickets have been purchased are: Qatar, USA, Saudi Arabia, England, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, France, Brazil and Germany.

What are the record viewership stats for the World Cup?

Highest average attendance at a tournament remains in the USA in 1994, as an average of 68,991 fans watched each game.

How many people will watch the World Cup?

It is predicted that 5 billion people around the world will watch the World Cup action. That will surpass the 3.5 billion who watched the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Which World Cup had the most goals?

Both the 1998 and 2014 tournaments had the most goals scored, with 171 scored at each. The World Cup with the most goals per game ratio is 1954, which averaged 5.38 goals per game.

Which World Cup had the least goals?

Both the 1930 and 1934 tournaments had the fewest goals, with 70 in each. However, that is understandable as the 1930 tournament had just 13 teams and 1934 had 16 teams compared to 32 teams today. The World Cup with the fewest goals per game ratio is 1990, which had 2.21 per game.

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