The long-awaited FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will finally kick off on Sunday.

This year, and for the first time ever, the 22nd edition of the tournament is taking place between November and December, shifting from the long-standing custom of playing in June and July.

The competition, which was postponed due to the severe heat in the host nation Qatar, will be the first one to be held in the Middle East, and the second in the Asian football confederation.

The tournament will be unveiled by an introductory performance ceremony that has become part of tournament tradition.

The ceremony was initially slated for November 21, after two games had already been played, but it was moved forward along with the first match between Qatar and Ecuador in order to maintain the tradition of the first game featuring the hosts.

Hosts Qatar will face South American Nation, Ecuador in the opening fixture. The opening ceremony will take place at the 60,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium, which is located 40 kilometers north of Doha’s northeastern coastal city of Al Khor.

Hundreds of thousands of fans have already descended on Qatar to cheer their teams as the world’s football heavyweights square off for this year’s silverware. Thirty-two countries across all continents are warming for this year’s edition of the tournament.

Cameroon, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, and Ghana will represent Africa at the tournament and all five countries have previously appeared in football’s biggest tournament. Defending champions France, Brazil, and Argentina, enter the competition as favorites to lift the trophy.

The 64 matches of the FIFA World Cup 2022 tournament will be played in 8 stadia including Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Stadium 974, Education City Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium.

However, the tournament has been marred with several controversies that trace back to 2010, after the Federation of International Football Association- FIFA, soccer’s governing body, selected Qatar’s bid to host the World Cup in 2022.

Several reports particularly from Europe have been written about the host country’s autocratic monarchy, including alleged human rights violations, dissent repression, persecution of LGBTQ persons, and maltreatment of migrant labor.

The most recent decision that sparked outrage was the move by Qatar to ban the sale of alcohol inside or around the perimeter of stadiums. The decision came two days before the tournament’s opening match.

Although Qatar’s World Cup organizers have stated unequivocally that “everyone is welcome,” Qatar 2022 chief executive Nasser al Khater has frequently stated that the government will not change its laws on homosexuality because of the World Cup and has asked visitors to respect the country’s culture.

FIFA World Cup 2022 schedule

The tournament will run from November 20 to December 18.

Group stage: November 20 – December 2

Round of 16: December 3-6

Quarterfinals: December 9-10

Semifinals: December 13-14

Third-place match: December 17

Final: December 18

Here is the full match schedule with India timings:

November 20

Qatar vs Ecuador – 9:30 PM IST

November 21

England vs Iran – 6:30 PM IST

Senegal vs Netherlands – 9:30 PM IST

November 22

USA vs Wales/Scotland/Ukraine – 12:30 AM IST

Argentina vs Saudi Arabia – 3:30 PM IST

Denmark vs Tunisia – 6:30 PM IST

Mexico vs Poland – 9:30 PM IST

November 23

France vs UAE/Australia/Peru – 12:30 AM IST

Morocco vs Croatia – 3:30 PM IST

Germany vs Japan – 6:30 PM IST

Spain vs Costa Rica/New Zealand – 9:30 PM IST

November 24

Belgium vs Canada – 12:30 AM IST

Switzerland vs Cameroon – 3:30 PM IST

Uruguay vs South Korea – 6:30 PM IST

Portugal vs Ghana – 9:30 PM IST

November 25

Brazil vs Serbia – 12:30 AM IST

Wales/Scotland/Ukraine vs Iran – 3:30 PM IST

Qatar vs Senegal – 6:30 PM IST

Netherlands vs Ecuador – 9:30 PM IST

November 26

England vs USA – 12:30 AM IST

Tunisia vs UAE/Australia/Peru – 3:30 PM IST

Poland vs Saudi Arabia – 6:30 PM IST

France vs Denmark – 9:30 PM IST

November 27

Argentina vs Mexico – 12:30 PM IST

Japan vs Costa Rica/New Zealand – 3:30 PM IST

Belgium vs Morocco – 6:30 PM IST

Croatia vs Canada – 9:30 PM IST

November 28

Spain vs Germany – 12:30 PM IST

Cameroon vs Serbia – 3:30 PM IST

South Korea vs Ghana – 6:30 PM IST

Brazil vs Switzerland – 9:30 PM IST

November 29

Portugal vs Uruguay – 12:30 AM IST

Ecuador vs Senegal – 8:30 PM IST

Netherlands vs Qatar – 8:30 PM IST

November 30

Iran vs USA – 12:30 AM IST

Wales/Scotland/Ukraine vs England – 12:30 AM IST

Tunisia vs France – 8:30 PM IST

UAE/Australia/Peru vs Denmark – 8:30 PM IST

December 1

Poland vs Argentina – 12:30 AM IST

Saudi Arabia vs Mexico – 12:30 AM IST

Canada vs Morocco – 8:30 PM IST

Croatia vs Belgium – 8:30 PM IST

December 2

Costa Rica/New Zealand vs Germany – 12:30 AM IST

Japan vs Spain – 12:30 AM IST

Ghana vs Uruguay – 8:30 PM IST

South Korea vs Portugal – 8:30 PM IST

December 3

Cameroon vs Brazil – 12:30 AM IST

Serbia vs Switzerland – 12:30 AM IST

FIFA World Cup 2022 knockouts schedule

Saturday, December 3

1A vs 2B – 8:30 PM IST

Sunday, December 4

1C vs 2D – 12:30 AM IST

1D vs 2C – 8:30 PM IST

Monday, December 5

1B vs 2A – 12:30 AM IST

1E vs 2F – 8:30 PM IST

Tuesday, December 6

1G vs 2H – 12:30 AM IST

1F vs 2E – 8:30 PM IST

Wednesday, December 7

1H vs 2G – 12:30 AM IST

Friday, December 9

Quarter-final 1 – 8:30 PM IST

Saturday, December 10

Quarter-final 2 – 12:30 AM IST

Quarter-final 3 – 8:30 PM IST

Sunday, December 11

Quarter-final 4 – 12:30 AM IST

Wednesday, December 14

Semi-final 1 – 12:30 AM IST

Thursday, December 15

Semi-final 2 – 12:30 AM IST

Saturday, December 17

3rd Place Play-off – 8:30 PM IST

Sunday, December 18

FIFA World Cup 2022 final – 8:30 PM IST