How long will the World Cup last? Is it shorter than previous tournaments?

In the summer, will it be less lengthy than it would be since it has disrupted the regular season in the most well-liked leagues in global soccer?

The Athletic is available to address any inquiries you might have regarding the timetable of the World Cup being held in Qatar.

To the greatest extent feasible, the planning for the World Cup was compacted with a significant emphasis. Following the Christmas break, there was increased pressure to recommence domestic campaigns.

FIFPRO has issued a warning, expressing concerns over the potential long-term damaging impacts that the tournament could have on player welfare, which have been hardly alleviated.

Ecuador will start the 2022 World Cup against Qatar in the opening game, along with the opening ceremony. This will happen just a week after the final round of fixtures in Serie A, Bundesliga, and Premier League 1.

The group-stage matches will be played over the course of 12 days, starting from December 2nd, Friday, with more than 47 matches in total. It remains to be seen whether teams will advance to the knockouts or be eliminated after the group-stage matches, which will continue until the following 12 days, after December 2nd, Friday.

As anticipated, the teams that secured qualification towards the conclusion of the group stage will not compete until a later stage in the initial knockout matches against the teams that secured qualification earlier. The Round of 16 is scheduled to commence a mere day later on Saturday, December 3rd.

The quarter-finals consist of a two-day period that follows a couple of match-free days, following four days of Round of 16 games.

Both Tuesday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 14 are scheduled for the semi-finals, with no matches scheduled for the following couple of days.

Almost a week before the final, the two teams, along with most of the other traveling nations and players, will be preparing for the biggest football game.

The final will be played on Sunday, December 18 with the — largely pointless — third-place play-off taking place the day before.

In the span of 29 days, specifically from Sunday, November 20 to Sunday, December 18, a total of 64 World Cup games will take place. This amounts to four weeks and one additional day. Consequently, the entire duration of the tournament can be summed up as such.

That seems like a highly condensed timetable considering the immense number of matches, and that leads me to the following question…

How does that schedule compare to previous World Cups?

As anticipated, the Qatar World Cup is shorter than previous tournaments, drawing comparisons to the World Cups held in the 21st century.

The tournament, which has been played across 32 days in Russia four years ago and in Brazil in 2014, has been extended by three days this year, following the trend of the last couple of World Cups.

Two days have been lost in the stage group, as in previous years it would have been played over a period of fortnight rather than 12 days. The beginning of the knockouts gave everyone a day to gather their thoughts and catch their breath, and there was an extra day between the end of the group stage and the beginning of the knockouts.

The tournament, which took place over a span of 31 days, was held in countries such as South Africa (2010), Germany (2006), and South Korea (2002). Interestingly, the duration of the three World Cups that came before these tournaments was one day longer than the duration of the latter two.

The eliminations of the beginning and the clusters of the conclusion amidst gap number did not exist, similar to this year in Qatar, but the group stage was played across a two-week period, similar to 2014 and 2018.

21st-century World Cup schedules

Qatar 2022.

Entire competition: November 20, 2022 – December 18, 2022.

Group phase: 20 November – 2 December.

Knockout: December 3rd – December 18th.

Number of days in total: 29.

Russia 2018.

The entire tournament will take place from June 14, 2018, to July 15, 2018.

Group phase: 14 June – 28 June.

Knockout: June 30th – July 15th.

Number of days: 32.

Brazil 2014.

The entire tournament takes place from 12 June 2014 to 13 July 2014.

Group phase: 12 June – 26 June.

Knockout: June 28th – July 13th.

Number of days: 32.

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The entire tournament will take place from June 11th, 2010 to July 11th, 2010.

Group phase: 11 June – 25 June.

Knockout: June 26th to July 11th.

Number of days: 31.

Germany 2006.

Entire tournament: 9 June 2006 – 9 July 2006.

Group phase: 9 June – 23 June.

Knockout: June 24th – July 9th.

Number of days: 31.

The year 2002 in South Korea.

The entire tournament took place from May 31, 2002, to June 30, 2002.

Group phase: 31 May – 14 June.

Knockout: June 15th – June 30th.

Number of days: 31.

What are the key dates for the 2022 World Cup?

  • The initial game – Qatar vs Ecuador: November 20th.
  • Group phase: November 20 – December 2.
  • Knockout stage: December 3 – December 6.
  • Quarter-finals: December 9 and 10.
  • Semi-finals: December 13 and 14.
  • December 17th marks the third-place play-off.
  • Deadline: December 18th.