FIFA World Cup 2022 Format – Everything You Need to Know

FIFA World Cup 2022 Format – Group Stages and Knockout Stage

With the commencement of the qualifiers round where we discuss how teams can qualify for the World Cup. The finalist 32 teams to enter the World Cup has been decided and the World Cup will kick off in November this year in the grounds of Qatar as the world prepares to see another champion crowned.

And that begs the question – What is the format for the World Cup? Rest assured – we are here to tell you-

Group Stage

Of all the 211 FIFA members spread across six confederations of different continents, thirty-two teams that has qualified will be split into eight groups of four.

Each group will engage in six series of round-robin games to ensure each team in the group faces off against every other team in the same group once. The score accumulated from the games will determine the final seeding of each time inside their respective groups and the top-two will advanced to the knockout stage while the bottom-two will be eliminated.

The group stage will be played between 21st November to 2nd December, 2022

Listed below is the standardized criteria for any form of tiebreakers:

  1. Points obtained in all group matches;
  2. Goal difference in all group matches;
  3. Number of goals scored in all group matches;
  4. Points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;
  5. Goal difference in the matches played between the teams in question;
  6. Number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question;
  7. Fair play points in all group matches (only one deduction can be applied to a player in a single match): 
    • Yellow card: −1 point;
    • Indirect red card (second yellow card): −3 points;
    • Direct red card: −4 points;
    • Yellow card and direct red card: −5 points;
  8. Drawing of lots.

Knockout Stage

The knockout stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is the second and final stage of the competition, following the group stage. It will begin on 3 December with the round of 16 and will end on 18 December 2022 with the final match, held at Lusail Iconic Stadium.

The top two teams from each group that advanced to the knockout stage are set to compete in a single-elimination style tournament. A third place play-off will also be played between the two losing teams of the semi-finals.

This means that the knockout-stage will commence first with a Round-of-16, then the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and grand-finals subsequently.


The fulls schedule for the group stage played out from 21st November to 6th December across 56 matches can be found here in FIFA’s official page.

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