Next year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar is going to be extremely different to recent tournaments for a number of reasons, and as international duty gets underway, we take a look

The international break is in full swing as European sides complete their final World Cup qualifiers in an attempt to book their place at next year’s tournament.

France are the current holders after they beat Croatia 4-2 in the final to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but the tournament will be a lot different this time around.

There have been ongoing talks about hosting a World Cup every two years as opposed to the traditional four-year cycle we currently operate under, but for now no change has been made.

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However, Qatar 2022 is already set to be a rather unique tournament, in a number of ways.

A Reminder of A reminder of where it’s taking place

Qatar is a small peninsular Arab country that borders Saudi Arabia, and is situated near both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

The capital city of Qatar is Doha, where new Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez recently arrived from after spending six years with Qatari Super League side Al Sadd as both player and manager

They will have the honour of being the first country within the Arab world to ever host a World Cup, and it will be the second time that the competition has been held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan.

Everything we know about World Cup 2022 format as Qatar prepares for revamped tournament

Next year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar is going to be extremely different to recent tournaments for a number of reasons, and as international duty gets underway, we take a look

The international break is in full swing as European sides complete their final World Cup qualifiers in an attempt to book their place at next year’s tournament.

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France are the current holders after they beat Croatia 4-2 in the final to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but the tournament will be a lot different this time around.

There have been ongoing talks about hosting a World Cup every two years as opposed to the traditional four-year cycle we currently operate under, but for now no change has been made.

However, Qatar 2022 is already set to be a rather unique tournament, in a number of ways.

Qatar is a small peninsular Arab country that borders Saudi Arabia, and is situated near both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

The capital city of Qatar is Doha, where new Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez recently arrived from after spending six years with Qatari Super League side Al Sadd as both player and manager.

They will have the honour of being the first country within the Arab world to ever host a World Cup, and it will be the second time that the competition has been held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan.

With eight stadiums in use in the tournament, Qatar is the smallest nation by area ever to have been awarded hosting rights of the World Cup – the next smallest by area is Switzerland who hosted the 1954 competition, which is more than three times as large as Qatar and only needed to host 16 teams instead of the current 32.

When is it taking place?

Are you excited for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

With international tournaments we are used to them taking place at the start of the summer as domestic football wraps up, but this will be the first ever World Cup to take place over the winter.

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It will be a rather different experience next year as the tournament kicks off on November 21, with the final taking place on December 18 when the competition ends

When Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup, they originally claimed that it would be held in the summer months with fully air-conditioned stadiums due to the 50 degree weather they receive.

However, that was quickly retracted and FIFA accepted a request from the hosts to hold it at the beginning of winter, where temperatures are closer to 30 degrees.

The schedule will also work around a slightly reduced time frame of around 28 days.

The last of the current format?

The World Cup currently sees 32 teams battle it out for the ultimate crown in football, but Qatar 2022 was meant to be the first edition of the tournament that saw this number increase to 48.

In April 2018, CONMEBOL requested that FIFA expand the 2022 World Cup from 32 to 48 teams, four years before it had already been planned for the 2026 World Cup.

However, FIFA rejected the request shortly before the beginning of the 2018 World Cup, meaning that it will take action next time around, so next years World Cup will be the last time we see just 32 nations in the running.

When will the matches kick off?

To add to the list of changes from recent tournaments, matches will be played slightly earlier due to Qatar being three hours ahead of the UK.

Group matches are set to get underway at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm UK time, with the knockout matches being played at 3pm and 7pm following the group stages.

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Whereas England fans have been used to enjoying some summer barbecue weather as afternoon’s are taken up by crunch competition games, it’ll be a much colder, wetter and gloomier climate as initial games kick off over a prolonged brunch period.

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