World Cup fans will be able to watch an unprecedented four games a day on television, spread out over 11 hours, during the group stage of the Qatar 2022 tournament after the schedule was confirmed on Wednesday.
FIFA released the schedule for the first World Cup to be played in November and December on Wednesday, with kickoff times at 1 p.m. (1000 GMT), 4 p.m. (1300 GMT), 7 p.m. (1600 GMT) and 10 p.m. (1900 GMT).
“Once the pairings are known, the possibility will be discussed of providing a more beneficial kickoff time for audiences at home, or indeed for fans in Qatar with regard to the stadium allocation,” FIFA said in a statement.
Host Qatar will open the Middle East’s first World Cup in the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium at 1 p.m. on Nov. 21.
“The World Cup is always a festival of football, a real celebration for the fans who come on-site and watch. In Qatar, with the compact nature, this is going to be amplified even more with 32 teams and 32 sets of supporters all in and around Doha,” said FIFA Chief Tournaments and Events Officer, Colin Smith.
The 2022 final venue is the Lusail Stadium in Doha, with the showpiece game to be played on Sunday, December 18.
A start date has not yet been fixed for the European section of World Cup qualification. The announcement comes two years to the day since the 2018 World Cup final.