Hosts Qatar will get the ball rolling in the 2022 World Cup on 21 November, 2022, at the Al Bayt stadium with the game set to kick-off at 15:30 IST.
The kick-off timings for the group matches of the World Cup, announced by FIFA on Wednesday, is likely to come across as good news for fans in India, with most of the games falling in the prime time window across the sub-continent.
The World Cup will witness as many as four matches during a day. during the group stages.
The first game will kick-off at 15:30 IST and the last game will kick off at 00:30 IST (the next day in India). However, the second and third matches will both be consumed by a prime time evening broadcast audience in India, given that they start at 18:30 IST and 21:30 IST respectively.
The simultaneous kick-offs for the last round of group games will be 20:30 IST and 00:30 IST (next day).
The knockout stage matches are also likely to kick-off at a similar time slot as the last round of group games.
Khalifa International Stadium will be the venue for the play-off for third place on 17 December 2022. The final will kick off on 18 December at 20:30 IST at Lusail Stadium.
The group stage will last just 12 days and, with four matches per day, and will help in giving teams enough rest before the knockout stages.
India is 2.5 hours ahead of Qatar and as such, the timings for the knockout stage matches, which will command huge viewership in India is also likely to be at a comfortable timing for fans in the country.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) had chosen Mumbai in September 2019 as one of the 13 international cities outside the MENA region for simultaneous unveiling of the Qatar 2022 logo.
This will be the second World Cup to be held in Asia and the first one to be held in the Middle-East. Japan and South Korea had hosted the first World Cup in Asia back in 2002.
It must be noted that the Indian diaspora is very strong across the Middle-East.
It must also be kept in mind, fans travelling to Qatar will be able to watch more than one match per day, thanks to the proximity of the venues for the 2022 World Cup. All 2022 World Cup venues are no more than an hour apart and have excellent connectivity, thanks to the newly opened Doha Metro.
FIFA has also state that ticket sales for the general public will be conducted via FIFA.com/tickets in late 2020, details of which will be available at a later date.