2020 has seen the traditional scheduling of sporting events go out the the window.
The coronavirus has the world postponing the Olympics and European Championships, as well as playing league football well into the summer months. The All-Ireland hurling and football championships will see their conclusions play out to the tune of 'Jingle Bells' this year too.
So, it's no shock that the 2022 World Cup will take place during the winter, but of course, that was always the plan.
🚨 2022 #WORLDCUP MATCH SCHEDULE 🚨
🏆 It all starts in Qatar on Monday 21 November 2022 🌏
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 15, 2020
The Qatari showpiece was meant to be the first World Cup played during the winter months in order to avoid adverse weather conditions. The Middle East throughout the summer months isn't exactly known for its temperate climate.
The 2022 World Cup will still contain just 32 teams, despite calls for the tournament to be expanded to 48 teams from the South American Football Association, CONMEBOL.
Qatar, the host nation, will kick off the tournament on November 21 at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Throughout the group stages, there will be four matches broadcast per day. It sounds to us like a Christmas miracle.
Of course, we still have to contend with Euro 2020/2021 before we get to the World Cup. Furthermore, we don't even know if we'll be attending the pan-European games, or be forced to watch on as a multitude of countries come to Dublin and have the time of their lives.
The draw for 2022 World Cup qualification was originally scheduled for 29 November 2020, although it is subject to UEFA's confirmation. Seedings for the draw will be based on the FIFA World Rankings at the time. If done today, Ireland would be a second seed due to their position at 29th in the FIFA World Rankings.
Here are some of the key dates for the 2022 World Cup:
November 21: Beginning of the tournament
November 21 - December 2: Group stages
December 3 - December 6: Round of 16
December 9 - December 10: Quarter Finals
December 13 - December 14: Semi Finals
December 17: Third/Fourth Place Play Off
December 18: Final