Everything You Need to Know About The World Cup In Qatar: Times, Dates, Groups & Stadiums

The 32 best soccer nations will descend upon Qatar in November to vie for glory at the 2022 World Cup.

The Socceroos booked their place at the tournament after beating UAE and Peru in a pair of tense qualifiers earlier this year. Graham Arnold’s men have landed in a tough group alongside France, Denmark and Tunisia, so they will need to dig deep to reach the knockout stage.

Most of the world’s finest players will take part, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Virgil Van Dijk and Kylian Mbappé, so it promises to be an exciting event. Read on to learn more about the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.


When Does The World Cup Start?

The World Cup begins with host nation Qatar taking on Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium at 10pm local time on Sunday, November 20. That means it will kick off at 6am AEDT on Monday, November 21, so you may need to set your alarm if you want to watch the action unfold.


Who Are The Current World Cup Holders?

France are the World Cup holders after they beat Croatia 4-2 in the final back in 2018. Teams from Europe dominated the tournament, claiming all four semi-final berths. France scraped a narrow victory over Belgium to book a place in the final, while Croatia beat England in extra-time.

Les Bleus claimed a famous victory courtesy of an own-goal from Mario Mandžukić, an Antoine Griezmann penalty and long-range strikes from Paul Pogba and Mbappé in the second half. Ivan Perišić and Mandžukić were on target for Croatia, but France outclassed them to secure their second World Cup triumph.


Which Teams Have Qualified For The World Cup?

Thirty-two teams have qualified for the 2022 World Cup. Some of them secured a place by finishing by performing well in their groups, while others – including Australia – had to navigate tricky playoffs.

The upshot is that there will be 13 European teams, five from Africa, five from Asia, four from North America and four from South America, along with the host nation – Qatar, who qualify automatically.

These are the World Cup contenders and the regions they will represent:


Team Region Qualification Route
Argentina South America CONMEBOL runners-up
Australia Asia Intercontinental Playoff
Belgium Europe UEFA Group F winners
Brazil South America CONMEBOL winner
Cameroon Africa Playoffs
Canada  North America CONCACAF winners
Costa Rica North America Intercontinental Playoff
Croatia Europe UEFA Group H winners
Denmark  Europe UEFA Group F winners
Ecuador South America CONMEBOL fourth place
England Europe UEFA Group I winners
France  Europe UEFA Group D winners
Germany  Europe UEFA Group J winners
Ghana  Africa Playoffs
Iran  Asia Group A winners
Japan Asia AFC Group B runners-up
Mexico North America CONCACAF runners-up
Netherlands  Europe UEFA Group G winners
Morocco  Africa Playoffs
Poland Europe Playoffs
Portugal  Europe Playoffs
Qatar Asia Host nation
Saudi Arabia  Asia AFC Group B winners
Senegal Africa Playoffs
Serbia  Europe UEFA Group A winners
South Korea  Asia AFC Group A runners-up
Spain Europe UEFA Group B winners
Switzerland  Europe UEFA Group c winners
Tunisia  Africa Playoffs
Uruguay  South America CONMEBOL third place
USA North America CONCACAF third place
Wales Europe Playoffs


What Is The World Cup Group Draw?

The teams have been divided into eight groups of four. Each team will play the other three teams in their group. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the Round of 16, while the remaining teams will pack their bags.

Teams from each region are kept apart as much as possible. These are the eight groups:


  • Group A: Qatar, 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

What Times Are The Games On?

The World Cup group stage games will start at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm local time each day. That converts to 9pm, midnight, 3am and 6am AEDT for soccer fans in Australia. That is far from ideal, but the 9pm and midnight games should be popular.

There will be simultaneous kick-offs for the final round of group stage games, taking place at 6pm and 10pm local time (2am and 6am AEDT). Knockout stage games will also be held at those time slots: 6pm and 10pm in Qatar, converting to 2am and 6am AEDT.


How Can I Watch The World Cup In Australia?

Public broadcaster SBS has secured the rights to all 64 World Cup matches. That means they will all be free to watch from anywhere in Australia.


Which Stadiums Will Be Used?

The decision to hand the World Cup to Qatar was controversial for several reasons. It has a questionable human rights record, there were lots of allegations of bribery, and it is also very hot there in the northern hemisphere summer. For that reason, it had to be moved to the northern hemisphere winter, disrupting the European club season – where most of the players ply their trade.

There is also no real history of soccer in Qatar, and it lacked the infrastructure or the stadiums, so it has had to build them from scratch – but the stadiums are now ready:


Lusail Stadium in Lusail

  • Capacity: 80,000
  • Matches: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16, 1x quarter-final, 1x semi-final and the final


Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor

  • Capacity: 60,000
  • Matches: 5x group stage games (including the opening match), 1x Round of 16, 1x quarter-final, 1x semi-final


Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah

  • Capacity: 40,000
  • Matches: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16


Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan

  • Capacity: 40,000
  • Matches: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16


Khalifa International Stadium in Doha

  • Capacity: 40,000 seats.
  • Matches: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16, third-place match


Education City Stadium in Doha

  • Capacity: 40,000
  • Matches: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16, 1x quarter-final


Stadium 974 (Ras Abu Aboud Stadium) in Ras Abu Aboud, Doha

  • Capacity: 40,000
  • Matches: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16


Al Thumama Stadium in Doha

  • Capacity: 40,000
  • Matches: 5x group stage games, 1x Round of 16, 1x quarter-final


When Are Australia’s World Cup Group Games?

Australia’s first game will take place at 6am AEDT on Tuesday, November 22, when they lock horns with France. It will be a stern test of their mettle against the reigning world champions. We make France the $1.25 favourites, while the draw is priced at $6.50 and the Socceroos are $9.00 underdogs.

Arnold’s men will then face Tunisia at 9pm on Saturday, November 26. That is likely to be a must-win game for the Socceroos, and the prime-time slot should ensure a large TV audience. The final game sees Australia clash with Denmark at 2am on Wednesday, November 30.


Who Could Australia Face If They Qualify From Group D?

The winner of Australia’s group will face the runner-up from Group C in the Round of 16. The team that finishes second in the Socceroos’ group will play against the team that finishes top of Group C.

We know that Group C features Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland. An Argentina side led by Messi should win that group, so the Socceroos could come up against the great man if they finish second in Group D.

Mexico have reached the knockout stage at the last seven World Cups, and they have a great chance of finishing ahead of Poland and Saudi Arabia. If Australia pull off a major shock by coming out on top of Group C, they are likely to face El Tri in the Round of 16.


When is The World Cup Final & What Time Will It Be On?

The World Cup final will be held at 3pm local time on Sunday, December 18. That means you will need to wait up until 2am AEDT on Monday, December 19, to watch it unravel.


Who Is Favourite To Win The World Cup?

We make Brazil the $6.00 favourites to win the World Cup. They finished comfortably top of a strong South American qualifying group, and they have a terrific squad. Alisson and Ederson will vie for a starting berth in goal, with Marquinhos and Thiago Silva at the heart of the defense, and either Fabinho or Casemiro as the holding midfielder. In attack, the likes of Neymar and Vinícius Júnior can wreak havoc.

However, Brazil have not won the World Cup since 2002, and it was European teams that dominated the last tournament. We have England and France each priced at $7.00. They may end up meeting in the quarter-finals and, if so, whoever prevails would fancy their chances of lifting the Jules Rimet trophy. Argentina, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium are also among the favourites, while Australia are $401.00 underdogs.


**Odds quoted are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change