Doha(IP)- The World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday, as 32 teams from five confederations get ready to compete for the biggest prize in football.

Iran PressMiddle East: Some of the best football players will be in action at the FIFA World Cup 2022, which will be held across eight stadiums in Qatar from November 20 to December 18.

The teams have been divided into eight groups of four (A to H) and only the top two teams will advance to the knockout stages.

As many as 64 matches will be played during the course of 29 days, also making it the shortest 32-team FIFA World Cup in history. 

Except for the first two days, four matches will be played each day during the group stages. Each of the 32 teams will play three matches in the group stages before the knockouts begin with the round of 16 (pre-quarterfinals) on December 3. 

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Hosts Qatar will kick off the 2022 World Cup against Ecuador in Group A at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor on November 20. Defending champions France will play their first match against Australia at 12:30 AM IST on November 23 while five-time champions Brazil will start against Serbia at 12:30 AM IST on November 25. India is 2 hours 30 minutes ahead of Qatar.

The semi-finals will be played on December 14 and 15, both at 12:30 AM IST, while the final will take place at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on December 18.

This will be the first time that a country from the Middle East will host the FIFA World Cup and consequently, the first edition being held outside the typical June-July window earmarked for the quadrennial showpiece. 


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