Doha, QATAR : The 80,000-seats Lusail Stadium - It is here that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 final will be staged.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is an association football tournament, contested by the men's national teams of FIFA's member associations and the 22nd FIFA World Cup. It is taking place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022. This is the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world, and the second World Cup held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan.[a]
The tournament is featuring 32 participating teams, the last to do so as the field will increase to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament. Matches at the event will be played in eight venues across five cities. France are the defending champions, having defeated Croatia 4–2 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final. Because of Qatar's intense summer heat, this World Cup is being held during November and December, being the first tournament not held in May, June, or July and to take place in the northern winter. It is being played in a reduced timeframe of 29 days. The opening match will be between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor. The final will be held on 18 December 2022, Qatar's National Day.
The choice to host the World Cup in Qatar has been the source of significant controversy. These include Qatar's poor treatment of migrant workers, poor human rights record, persecution of LGBT people, among others; leading to allegations of sportswashing. Others have said Qatar's intense climate and lack of a strong football culture is evidence of bribery for hosting rights and wider FIFA corruption. Boycotts of the event are planned by several countries, clubs and individual players, and former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has twice said that giving Qatar hosting rights was a "mistake".
The official match ball, "Al Rihla", was unveiled on 30 March 2022. It was mainly inspired by the culture, architecture, iconic boats and flag of Qatar. In Arabic, the word Al Rihla (الْرِّحْلَة ar-riḥla) means "the journey". The ball was designed with sustainability as a priority, making it the first ever official match ball created with water-based glues and inks. As "the game is getting faster" and "speeds up", Adidas used some new features, allowing to provide speed and improve the accuracy of the ball.