TheNFAPost Podcast
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Hyderabad, NFAPost: The FIFA World Cup is undoubtedly the most-watched event in sports. The quadrennial event attracts fans from all over the world in unprecedented numbers. 

With Qatar hosting the 2022 edition, two years away, conducive timings for fans has been the organizing committee’s one of the prime factors and the first-ever World Cup to be hosted by the Middle-East will have kick-off timings conducive for viewing in India.

Hosts Qatar will kick off the proceedings in the FIFA 2022 World Cup at the 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, on Monday, November 21, 2022 at 15:30 IST. 

The kick-off times for group matches have been set for 15:30 IST, 18:30 IST, 21:30 IST and 00:30 IST, with the simultaneous kick-offs for the last round of group games and knockout-stage timings being 20:30 IST and 00:30 IST.
Khalifa International Stadium will be the setting for the play-off for third place on 17 December. 

The final will kick off one day later at 20:30 IST at Lusail Stadium, boasting of an 80,000 crowd capacity. 

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 tournament’s compact nature – with no air travel needed to move between the venues – will allow organisers, for the first time, to optimise specific match demands for the benefit and comfort of fans, teams and media.

This will be achieved through the assignment of the group fixtures for each matchday to a stadium and kick-off time only after the final draw, currently planned for after the March 2022 international match calendar qualifying window. 

Once the pairings are known, the possibility will be discussed of providing a more beneficial kick-off time for audiences at home, or indeed for fans in Qatar with regard to the stadium allocation.

That additional flexibility is possible without affecting any technical aspects since all stadiums are located within a compact radius and the climate is perfect at that time of year in Qatar, whether it is an early or a late kick-off. On top of that, this will potentially give fans the opportunity to attend more than one match a day during the group stage.

For those eager to book their seats at Qatar 2022, hospitality sales are scheduled to start in late 2020. Ticket sales for the general public will be conducted solely via FIFA.com/tickets, where details on the timeline, phases, categories and prices will be communicated in due course. 

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