FIFA World Cup 2022 schedule announced: Live broadcast timings favour Indian viewers
Indian football fans can tune in at 3:30pm IST on November 21, 2022 for the kick-off of the FIFA World Cup 2022 to be held in Qatar. The final match of the quadrennial showpiece will be played on December 18.
Host Qatar will kick off proceedings at the 60,000-capacity state-of-the-art Al Bayt Stadium in Doha at 1:00pm local time (3:30pm Indian Standard Time), according to fixtures released Wednesday.
Convenient times for Indian football fans
The group stage of the tournament will be played over 12 days, with matches scheduled at 3:30pm, 6:30pm, 9:30 pm and 12:30am in India.
The last round of the group games will see simultaneous kick-offs at 8:30pm and 12:30am, while the Round of 16 and quarterfinal games will maintain the same time slots. There will be no gap between the group stages and the Round of 16 games.
The semi-finals will kick off at 12:30am on December 14 and December 15 in India.
The final, to be held at the 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium on December 18, will be broadcasted live from 8:30pm.
The third-place playoff match, scheduled to be played at the Khalifa International Stadium a day earlier, will kick off at the same time.
With the World Cup being played in the Middle East for the first time, it presents convenient timings for Indian fans with a majority of the matches set to be played at primetime television slots.
Final draw dates
The final groups, matchups and venues will only be confirmed after the final draw planned late in March or early April of 2022 after the international 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,” the FIFA said.
With the eight designated venues for the FIFA World Cup in close proximity of each other and winters in the Middle East conducive for both early and late kick-offs, the organizers have the flexibility to schedule matches within a short time frame without compromising on optimum rest time for the teams.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be played over 28 days. The tournament in Russia spanned 32 days.
Tickets for the World Cup are likely to be available on the FIFA website from later this year.