Two years to go: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 countdown draws closer

Travelling fans will have the opportunity to potentially attend more than one match a day during the 2022 FIFA World Cup's group stage, which will feature four daily fixtures.

The 2022 football World Cup is scheduled to happen in Qatar from November 21 to December 18 instead of the conventional International FIFA window during June-July.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

November 21, Saturday, will mark exactly two years until the next FIFA World Cup in Qatar. This will be the first edition of the event to be held in the Middle East and Arab region.

Among many distinctive features, travelling fans will have the opportunity to potentially attend more than one match a day during the group stage, which will feature four daily fixtures.

Infrastructure planned for the event has reached 90% completion, with the three stadiums that have already been finalised – Khalifa International, Al Janoub and Education City – safely hosting more than 100 matches in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three more tournament venues are in the final stages of construction: Al Rayyan, Al Bayt and Al Thumama. The work at the remaining two stadiums – Ras Abu Aboud and Lusail – are set to be completed in 2021.

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Countrywide infrastructure is also being improved, including new roads, Doha's Metro – which was successfully utilised by fans during the 2019 Club World Cup – and the expansion of Hamad International Airport, which is planned to cater for more than 50 million visitors a year by 2022.

“2020 has surely been a challenging year for the entire world, and football was no exception. Despite the difficulties, steady progress was made in the last few months, showing yet again Qatar’s strong and continued commitment,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“Besides the very important labour reforms recently announced by the government, progress has also been made on stadium construction, along with the implementation of strict measures to protect workers’ health. During my short visit to Doha a few weeks ago, I witnessed first-hand how well preparations have advanced."

Qatar will host the most compact version of the World Cup. All the stadiums are in close proximity to one another and will be linked by public transport, meaning short travel times for fans, players and media.

Visitors will be able to stay in one location throughout the tournament and will not be required to take any internal flights. The longest distance between stadiums is 75 km (Al Bayt to Al Janoub), while the shortest is just 5 km (Education City to Al Rayyan).

In July, it was confirmed that the opening match would take place at the Al Bayt Stadium, while the final will be staged at the 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium on 18 December, 2022 – Qatar National Day, which is a public holiday.

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