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2022 FIFA World Cup: Full match schedule, opening ceremony and more

Are you ready for football fever? It’s only two more days to the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on November 20, and we’re simply bubbling over with excitement. We’ve done all of our homework by now: From sussing out the stadiums and team uniforms, to reading up on our favourite players the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Son Heung-Min and Kylian Mbappé. Here in Malaysia, we’ve noted down the various TV channels that’ll be broadcasting the matches, as well as made plans for raucous watch parties at our favourite bars and eateries. For your convenience, we’ve also put together the full FIFA World Cup full schedule here, so you don’t miss any of the important highlights including the star-studded Fan Festival.

2022 FIFA World Cup full match schedule

Opening ceremony

The FIFA World Cup takes place from November 20 to December 18. It will begin with a lavish opening ceremony at the 60,000-seater Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor at 5pm local time (10pm MYT), two hours before the first match between Qatar and Ecuador.

This features music performances, tunes like ‘Hayya Hayya’ (‘Better Together’) and ‘Light The Sky’ from the tournament’s soundtrack, the official mascot La’eeb, and a fireworks display.

FIFA has yet to reveal the exact lineup of performers at the opening ceremony, but a confirmed highlight is Jungkook of BTS, who’ll be the first Korean artist to grace the World Cup stage.

Other rumoured acts include Robbie Williams, J Balvin and the Black Eyed Peas — though these musicians have yet to comment on their participation, and their social media accounts are littered with pleas from fans to pull out. Dua Lipa and Rod Stewart were also names that came up weeks ago, but both have been vocal about not wanting to be in the show, with the latter revealing that he turned down a $1 million offer.

jungkook qatar
Jungkook of BTS is set to perform at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony on November 20.

One can’t help but wonder if the music roster is still in flux right now, due to the controversies that have plagued this year’s tournament. Qatar has long been criticised for its stance on homosexuality, along with reports of human rights violations and labour exploitation throughout preparations for the event — which is also the most expensive and luxurious in FIFA history.

Football matches and participating teams

The FIFA World Cup match schedule will showcase these 32 teams:

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Qatar (QAT)

Ecuador (ECU) 

Senegal (SEN)

Netherlands (NED)

England (ENG)

Iran (IRN)


Wales (WAL)

Argentina (ARG)

Saudi Arabia (KSA)

Mexico (MEX)

Poland (POL)

France (FRA)

Australia (AUS)

Denmark (DEN)

Tunisia (TUN)

Group E Group F Group G Group H
Spain (ESP)

Costa Rica (CRC)

Germany (GER)

Japan (JPN)

Belgium (BEL)

Canada (CAN)

Morocco (MAR)

Croatia (CRO)

Brazil (BRA)

Serbia (SRB)

Switzerland (SUI)

Cameroon (CMR)

Portugal (POR)

Ghana (GHA)

Uruguay (URU)

Korea Republic (KOR)

The 32 contenders will battle it out in a group stage, which will half the number of teams down to 16 — two from each group. This is called the Round of 16, where they will compete in knockout matches to advance to the quarterfinals, semifinals, third-place playoff and eventually the grand final.

qatar world cup
Soma Yuki (R) of Japan celebrates scoring an opening goal with Asano Takuma during the international friendly between Japan and Canada at Al-Maktoum Stadium on November 17, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Image: Martin Dokoupil/ Getty Images/ FIFA)

Click here to view the complete list of matches, timings and venues; do note that Qatar is five hours behind Malaysia. The live telecast timings in MYT can also be easily found here.

A breakdown of key dates:
Group matches: November 20 – December 2
Round of 16: December 3 – 6
Rest days: December 7 – 8
Quarterfinals: December 9 – 10
Semifinals: December 13 – 14
Third-place playoff: December 17
Final: December 18

fifa world cup 2022 fan festival
Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min, who’s captaining the South Korean team at the FIFA World Cup. (Image: FIFA)

FIFA Fan Festival

For football fans who didn’t manage to score tickets to the matches, there is a free-admission FIFA Fan Festival that takes place concurrently throughout the tournament’s duration. The event is held at Doha’s Al Bidda Park and opens a day earlier on November 19 at 4pm local time (9pm MYT), with the inauguration ceremony happening at 7pm (12am MYT). FIFA and Qatar representatives will be present, along with the FIFA World Cup 2022 Winners Trophy. Lebanese singer Myriam Fares and Colombian musician Maluma are slated to perform.

fifa world cup qatar fan festival
Maluma and Myriam Fares will headline the opening event of the FIFA Fan Festival in Doha. (Image: FIFA)

Spectators can also expect to catch gigs by international stars such as Diplo, Blue, Calvin Harris, Sean Paul and DJ Khaled over the next few weeks. The full lineup can be viewed here.

Hero and Featured Images: Courtesy FIFA/ Facebook

This story first appeared on Augustman Malaysia.

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