FIFA Media Release:
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international men’s footballchampionship contested by the national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Qatar in 2022. This will be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world and the first in a Muslim-majority country. This will be the first World Cup held entirely in Asia since the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan (the 2018 competition in Russia featured one Asian venue, Yekaterinburg). In addition the tournament will be the last to involve 32 teams, with an increase to 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 tournament.
This will also mark the first World Cup not to be held in May, June, or July; the tournament is instead scheduled for late November until mid-December. It is to be played in a reduced timeframe of around 28 days, with the final being held on 18 December 2022, which is also Qatar National Day. Accusations of corruption have been made relating to how Qatar won the right to host the event. A FIFA internal investigation and report cleared Qatar of any wrongdoing, but the chief investigator Michael J. Garcia has since described FIFA’s report on his inquiry as “materially incomplete and erroneous”. On 27 May 2015, Swiss federal prosecutors opened an investigation into corruption and money laundering related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
On 7 June 2015, it was announced that Qatar would possibly no longer be eligible to host the event, if evidence of bribery was proven. According to Domenico Scala, the head of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee: “Should there be evidence that the awards to Qatar… came only because of bought votes, then the awards could be cancelled.” Qatar has faced strong criticism due to the treatment of foreign workers involved in preparation for the World Cup, with Amnesty International referring to “forced labour” and stating that workers have been suffering human rights abuses, despite worker welfare standards being drafted in 2014.
France are the defending champions, after their second title in the 2018 edition.