Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Al Jazeera answers some key questions with the Middle East’s first soccer World Cup just one year away.

Qatar 2022, the Middle East’s first soccer World Cup, is just 12 months away.

The opening match of the next World Cup, which was awarded to Qatar in 2010, will be played on November 18, 2022 at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor, north of the capital Doha.

Al Jazeera answers some of the key questions related to the tournament and host Qatar:

What are the tournament dates?

The tournament will kick off on November 21 next year with the final taking place on December 18, which is also Qatar’s national day.

Which teams qualified for Qatar 2022?

So far, 13 teams have qualified for the World Cup, including host Qatar.

Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Croatia
Denmark
England
France
Germany
Netherlands
Qatar
Serbia
Spain
Switzerland

When will the tournament draw take place?

The draw for the main round will take place on April 1, 2022. It will be held in Qatar’s capital Doha and the 32 qualifying countries will be placed in eight groups.

How many stadiums are ready?

The 2022 World Cup will be played across eight stadiums.

Qatar has already inaugurated five stadiums, while two more will host their first matches in the upcoming Arab Cup 2021 which kicks off on 30 November.

Lusail Stadium, where the final will be played, will be the last venue to be inaugurated next year.

Lusail Stadium, where the Qatar 2022 final will be played, will be the last venue to be inaugurated next year [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

What problems did the World Cup face after being awarded to Qatar?

Since being granted hosting rights, Qatar has faced allegations of bribery and corruption in the bidding process.

In addition, high temperatures during the summer months in Qatar meant that tournament dates were shifted to November and December, which also forced leagues around the world to adjust their schedules.

Recently, concerns about a lack of hotel accommodation have also surfaced for the influx of fans arriving for the tournament.

Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers and its human rights record have also been under scrutiny since it was awarded the tournament.

Will any team boycott the tournament?

Earlier this year, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Germany staged protests in the field against Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers.

However, there was no threat of a boycott.

What is the current coronavirus situation in Qatar?

Qatar has reported more than 240,000 coronavirus cases since the onset of the pandemic, including 611 deaths.

However, strict health and safety measures, availability of vaccines and increased testing ensured that numbers remained low.

Currently, the average number of daily reported cases is below 150.

Will fans have to be vaccinated against COVID to attend Qatar 2022?

Yes, Qatar will only allow fully vaccinated individuals to attend the World Cup.

What will the weather be like during the World Cup?

The average temperature range in November and December is 15C-24C (59F-79F).

Will alcohol be available?

Alcohol will be available at fan zones and hospitality venues during the tournament.

Further details on availability are expected to be announced by the organizers in due course.

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