AR2021 > Tournaments & events > The road to Qatar - as things stand
Tournaments & Events

The road to Qatar — as things stand­

8 min. reading time


A total of 210 teams set out on the road to Qatar for the 22ⁿᵈ edition of the FIFA World Cup. Of the 32 to qualify, only one will lift the trophy, which has been won by just eight countries since the first tournament in 1930.

The European qualifying round concluded in November, with the ten group winners all booking their tickets to Qatar. Earlier in November, Brazil and Argentina became the first teams from South America to qualify. For the former, it will be their 22ⁿᵈ straight participation in the finals.

As 2021 drew to a close, 13 teams were therefore confirmed for Qatar 2022 (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar (hosts), Serbia, Spain and Switzerland), with 766 qualifying matches played and 2,200 goals scored.

The draw to determine the pairings for the European play-offs was held in Zurich, Switzerland, on 26 November 2021, when the remaining 12 teams found out who they would compete against for the final three European slots.

Qualification across the OFC, AFC, CAF, Concacaf and CONMEBOL continued in the first half of 2022, with the full 32-team line-up set to be completed in June 2022, when the final two slots will be decided after four countries – one each from the AFC, CONMEBOL, Concacaf and the OFC – meet in Qatar for their play-off matches.

Qualifying stats to date­

13 00

teams qualified

210 000


2,200 0,000

goals scored

766 000

matches played

Stadiums and infrastructure­

All venues and infrastructure for the final tournament are on track, with the main construction work of the venue of the final, Lusail Stadium, having been completed. Regular testing will be carried out throughout 2022 in the build-up to the tournament and its first FIFA World Cup match on 22 November 2022.

Workers’ welfare­

The FIFA World Cup has made a significant contribution to improved labour conditions in Qatar, particularly through the heightened standards put in place by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy through its Workers’ Welfare programme. The robustness of this programme has repeatedly been recognised by experts and trade unions over the years, and as stated in a recent UN report, it has brought about “impressive changes” and “sweeping reforms” within the host country. These measures have also resulted in improvements for workers who are not directly involved in the delivery of the FIFA World Cup.

It has no doubt that the event will leave a lasting legacy and will serve as a catalyst for broader positive social change in the host country and across the region.

These changes, in addition to the removal of exit permits and the introduction of a national minimum wage, have signalled the end of the “kafala” system and have been widely commended by international organisations, such as the International Trade Union Confederation, the Building and Wood Workers’ International, the International Labour Organization and the Centre for Sport and Human Rights.

FIFA, together with its counterparts in Qatar, continues to implement and further expand systems – which have gain broad recognition from independent bodies – to protect workers involved in FIFA World Cup preparations and delivery, including a thorough audit and compliance regime with companies involved in FIFA World Cup-related activities and an increasing focus on the service sector as the tournament fast approaches.

FIFA will continue to push for greater protection of workers and promote the implementation of wider labour reforms in Qatar through constructive dialogue with the Qatari authorities and joint efforts with other stakeholders. It has no doubt that the event will leave a lasting legacy and will serve as a catalyst for broader positive social change in the host country and across the region.

Volunteers programme­

Applications for people wishing to volunteer for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 were due to open in early 2022 via FIFA’s dedicated platform.

FIFA World Cup™ ticket sales­

Ticket sales for the FIFA World Cup 2022 started in early 2022 via

FIFA World Cup™ hospitality sales

Although only 13 of the 32 teams had been confirmed by the end of 2021, at year-end more than 82,500 hospitality packages had already been sold to guests from more than 60 countries, with the top five being Qatar, Mexico, the USA, Argentina and India. The five teams of main interest for hospitality guests at reporting date were Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Qatar and England.

Compared to the same stage of sales for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, hospitality sales were up by more than 500%, and some 48% of the total number of packages sold for 2018 had already been booked.

FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021™­

The FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021, the biggest operational test ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, took place between 30 November and 18 December 2021 and concluded exactly one year to the day before the final of the main event is due to take place. It proved to be a vital trial run, with four matches per day during the group stage and fans having a chance to attend more than one match during the early stages of the competition.

More than 500,000 tickets were sold during the tournament, which featured the highest sporting attendance in Qatar’s history – 63,439 – when the host nation faced the United Arab Emirates in the quarter-finals at Al Bayt Stadium.

Qatar residents purchased the bulk of the tickets during the tournament, followed by international fans from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The best-attended matches not involving Qatar were Algeria v. Egypt and Tunisia v. Egypt – both of which sold 93% of the available tickets.

More than 165,000 Fan IDs were issued at the start of the tournament as Qatar worked on finalising the system ahead of the main event, which kicks off on 21 November 2022. The tournament workforce totalled 1,800 people from 55 countries, while there were more than 5,000 volunteers, including 350 who flew in from abroad. Media and TV accreditations exceeded 1,000, with around three-quarters of them coming from outside Qatar.

Commercial affiliates and media rights­

In 2021, FIFA saw unprecedented levels of interest in its commercial programme for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. FIFA secured significant new sponsorship revenues with a broad portfolio of commercial partners across global and regional properties. More of these new partnerships are in the pipeline, including new FIFA Partners and new FIFA World Cup 2022 Sponsors at global level. With these deals to be announced or currently under contract, FIFA had just one remaining global sponsorship position available for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at reporting date and there was strong interest in this final package.

At Regional Supporter level, only one position remained available in the host region of Middle East & Africa. Likewise, in South America, three deals were signed, with one package left in that market.

Active sales programmes were also underway in the other three regions of North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Given the sales activity and the level of interest with less than a year to go until the start of the tournament, FIFA is on track to sell all available sponsorship positions for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in every region.

In terms of broadcasting, FIFA completed its media rights sales in the majority of markets worldwide. Several broadcast partners came on board in 2021, including Rai in Italy, Antenna TV in Greece, Viacom in India, and New World TV and SuperSport in Sub-Saharan Africa (for the French- and English-language rights respectively).

Team Base Camps­

FIFA is managing the teams’ final selection process through an online selection tool based on a first-come, first-served basis. By the end of 2021, 23 member associations had visited Qatar (some more than once) and selected a priority option for their Team Base Camp (TBC), with more visits due to follow.

FIFA expects to confirm the 32 TBCs by July 2022.


Qatar is committed to using every available accommodation option in the country to deliver a sustainable FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and to ensure that it offers fans a range of unique and innovative options during the tournament. The room inventory consists of traditional two- to three-star hotel rooms, temporarily moored cruise ships known as “floating hotels”, serviced apartments and villas, and desert camps.

Alcohol availability­

Alcohol can already be obtained in Qatar at a variety of licensed hotel bars and restaurants across the country, and it will also be available in additional fan and hospitality locations at the FIFA World Cup 2022. The host country and FIFA are working to provide options that will cater to all local and visiting fans, with further details to be communicated in due course.


The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC (Q22) – announced in 2019 as an important step in the evolution of how FIFA plans and delivers tournaments – had 313 staff members at reporting date, a number set to rise to almost 1,000 by the time the tournament kicks off. Q22 is a limited liability company incorporated by FIFA, which holds 51% of the shares, and the Qatar 2022 Local Organising Committee, which holds 49%.


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as was the case for the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020™ and the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021, the host country will provide the safeguards required to protect the health and safety of all involved in the competition.

All attendees will be obliged to follow the travel advice from the Qatari authorities and the latest guidance from the Ministry of Public Health. Full information on COVID-19 safety measures will be communicated to all client groups as we approach the competition.