When is the World Cup final? Quarter-final and semi-final dates and kick-off times

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar began on 20 November as 32 teams aim to reach the final and become world champions on 18 December.

The tournament is the first to be held in the Arab world and only the second to take place in Asia, after Japan and South Korea joint-hosted the event in 2002. This edition will be the last to feature just 32 teams, with the tournament being expanded from 2026 onwards in order to feature 48 nations.

Reigning champions France are among the favourites, though no team has successfully defended the World Cup since Brazil in 1962, alongside fellow European sides England, Spain, and the Netherlands. Brazil and Argentina feature in the knockout stages, while Senegal could represent Africa’s biggest hopes of winning for the first time.

England met play-off winners Wales in Group B with USA advancing alongside them. Germany went out after being drawn in a tough-looking Group E with Spain, Japan and Costa Rica, while Portugal and South Korea emerged from Group H ahead of Ghana and Uruguay.

Hosts Qatar started their tournament against Ecuador, before taking on Senegal and Netherlands – the latter duo were set to be the first match of the 2022 World Cup before organisers moved Qatar’s match to be a day earlier. Because of excessive summer temperatures in the Gulf state, the Qatar World Cup will be the first to be staged in winter rather than summer.

Check out the full World Cup fixtures and schedule below.

Who is playing at the World Cup?

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands.

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales.

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland.

Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia.

Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan.

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia.

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon.

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea.

Key dates and kick-off times


Saturday 3 December: 3pm GMT and 7pm GMT

Sunday 4 December: 3pm GMT and 7pm GMT

Monday 5 December: 3pm GMT and 7pm GMT

Tuesday 6 December: 3pm GMT and 7pm GMT


Friday 9 December: 3pm GMT and 7pm GMT

Saturday 10 December: 3pm GMT and 7pm GMT


Tuesday 13 December: 7pm GMT

Wednesday 14 December: 7pm GMT

3rd/4th place play-off

Saturday 17 December: 3pm GMT


Sunday 18 December: 3pm GMT