World Cup 2022: When will it take place and why will Qatar host?

The last two places in the football final of the 2022 World Cup will be decided this week during the intercontinental play-offs in Doha, Qatar.

The tournament, which starts in November, will be the first World Cup in the Middle East and the first at this time of year.

However, the decision to keep it in Qatar has sparked controversy.

When is the 2022 World Cup and how hot will it be?

The World Cup finals will be held between November 21 and December 18 – a time when temperatures in Qatar typically reach 25C (77F).

Had the finals been held in June and July, as they normally are, the matches would have been played in temperatures over 40°C and possibly up to 50°C.

Qatar initially proposed to hold the final in the summer in enclosed, air-conditioned stadiums, but the plan was rejected.

Graph showing average monthly temperature in Doha, Qatar

What are the problems with holding a World Cup in the winter?

November and December are busy months for European football clubs and many players will be called up to play for their country in Qatar 2022.

As a result, European competitions such as the English Premier League, Italian Serie A and Spanish La Liga are suspending their seasons a week before the international tournament. They will restart them after it ends.

Life in Qatar: 85% foreign workers 24.7% female population (lowest in the world);  99.2% live in a city;  hereditary monarchy;  controls 13% of global oil reserves;  GDP per capital (2020), $50,124;  same-sex relationships are illegal;  alcohol restricted in public places;  strict laws on public conduct.

Why was Qatar chosen to host the World Cup?

In 2010, Qatar obtained the rights to the World Cup by winning a vote of 22 executive members of FIFA. It beat bids from the US, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

It is the first Arab country to host the tournament.

Qatar was accused of paying FIFA officials £3 million ($3.7 million) in bribes to secure their support, but was acquitted after a two-year investigation.

FIFA’s then president Sepp Blatter backed Qatar’s bid at the time, but has since said FIFA may have made the wrong decision.

Mr Blatter is currently on trial in Switzerland for: fraud, embezzlement and other allegations of corruption.

Map and satellite images of Qatar's eight stadiums

Qatar has also faced allegations from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch of mistreating foreign workersexternal link who have built World Cup facilities.

Which teams play at the World Cup and who are the favourites?

Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup started three years ago.

Teams from different continents played in groups and the best teams advanced to the finals while others qualified through play-offs.

France, the 2018 World Cup winners, made it through, but current European champions Italy failed to qualify.

For the final, the 32 teams were drawn into eight groups of four. Teams from the same continent were kept apart – with the exception of European countries, where a maximum of two could be in a group.

Brazil, England, France and Spain are the current bookmakers’ favorites to win the tournament.

Swedish football fan with two pints of beer
In Qatar, alcohol can normally only be bought in bars in luxury hotels

What can World Cup fans expect in Qatar?

Qatar, with 2.9 million inhabitants, is one of the richest countries in the world due to its oil and gas exports.

It has built seven stadiums especially for the tournament and a whole new city to play the final game.

More than 100 new hotels, a new metro and new roads are also being built.

The tournament’s organizing committee estimates that 1.5 million people will attend the final.

Qatar is a conservative Muslim country and fans have been warned to be careful about how they behave.

There are strict restrictions on drinking alcohol. It can normally only be bought in bars in luxury hotels. A pint of beer costs up to £10 ($13).

However, organizers say alcohol may be sold in designated fan zones during the tournament.

Graphical representation of fan accommodation in Qatar: 60,000 rooms in apartments and villas, 50,000 rooms in hotels, 9,000 beds in fan villages and 4,000 rooms on cruise ships

What is Qatar’s track record on gay rights?

Homosexual acts are illegal in Qatar.

Groups representing gay football fans have asked the government to: “guarantee their safety”, while some Wales fans have said they will boycott the tournament according to their team’s qualification.

The organizers of the World Cup have replied that “everyone is welcome”, but that Qatar will not relax its laws on homosexuality.

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