The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar is set to take the stage with a grand opening ceremony on Sunday (Nov 20). Qatar and Ecuador will be the first two teams to lock horns at the Al Bayt Stadium. A total of 32 teams will take part across 64 matches over a period of 29 days. South Africa will not be participating after Ghana topped Group G in the qualifiers (CAF).

Six interesting facts about World Cup ’22

First FIFA World Cup in Nov/Dec.

This is the first time that the FIFA World Cup is being held in Nov/Dec. The 2022 FIFA World Cup will break its tradition and will be held from mid-November through mid-December, usually held in the middle of the year. In summer (June/July), Qatar experiences high temperatures which can go up to 50 degrees Celsius, sometimes.

Qatar is the first Middle Eastern country to host a FIFA World Cup.

Qatar is the first Middle Eastern country and the third Asian country to hold the FIFA World Cup. Japan and South Korea jointly hosted it in 2002.

Teams can substitute five players in a game.

The team can substitute five players in a game. Previously three substitutions were allowed. Those five substitutions can be made in a maximum of three windows across the 90 minutes.

Female Referees for the first time in FIFA Men’s World Cup.

FIFA has introduced female referees for the first time in the Men’s Football World Cup. Yamashita Yoshimi, Salima Mukansanga and Stephanie Frappart are three women referees who have been named among the 36 referees selected.

Semi-automatic offside and goal-line technology to be used at FIFA World Cup 2022.

The matches will feature semi-automatic offside and goal-line technology. These technologies have been successfully trialled at numerous test events and live at FIFA tournaments, including the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 and the FIFA Club World Cup 2021.

The most expensive FIFA World Cup.

Qatar has reportedly spent $220 billion (bn) for the preparations of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Russia reportedly spent $11.6 bn in 2018, whilst Brazil spent $15 bn in 2014. South Africa is reported to have spent $3.6 bn in 2010, whilst Germany is reported to have spent $4.3 bn in 2006. South Korea and Japan reportedly spent $7bn in 2002. France reportedly spent $2.3 bn in 1998 while the United States is reported to have spent $0.5bn whilst hosting the FIFA World Cup in 1994.