World Cup qualification has reached its business end, with most of the 32-team line-up to be confirmed over the next week or so.
Many countries have already got their places secured, but a host of others are yet to realise their dreams… or see them crumble.
The tournament has courted controversy ever since its hosting rights were awarded, but it promises to be quite the spectacle in a part of the world that has never hosted it before.Here is everything you need to know about the finals.
Where is the World Cup being held?
The 2022 World Cup takes place in Qatar. It is the first time the tournament will be held in the Middle EastThe finals will be staged in five cities: Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Lusail, and the capital, Doha.
Qatar is the smallest country ever to host the World Cup. With a surface area of 11,500 square kilometres, it is the 158th largest country in the world and can be traversed in roughly two hours.
A peninsula nation whose economy is powered by oil and natural gas, Qatar has been constructing what FIFA describes as “some of the most eco-friendly and architecturally advanced sporting facilities ever seen” ahead of the tournament.
When does the tournament take place?
The 2022 World Cup will be held from November 21 until December 18, with 64 matches played.
The time frame has been slightly condensed because of the impact a winter World Cup will have on many of the world’s domestic seasons.
The opening match takes place at Al Bayt Stadium on November 21, with the group stage finishing on December 2.
The round of 16 begins the following day.The quarter-finals will be held on December 9 and 10, with the semi-finals on December 13 (at Lusail Stadium) and December 14 (at Al Bayt Stadium).
The third-place play-off is on December 17 at Khalifa International Stadium, with the final on December 18 at Lusail Stadium.
What are the venues?
The tournament is being held across five city regions: Al Wakrah, Al Khor and Lusail contain one stadium each, with two in Al Rayyan and a further three in Doha.
The venues and their capacities are:
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium: 44,000
Education City Stadium: 45,350
Al Bayt Stadium: 60,000
Al Janoub Stadium: 40,000
Al Thumama Stadium: 40,000
Ras Abu Aboud Stadium: 40,000
Khalifa International Stadium: 40,000
Lusail Iconic Stadium: 80,000
Which teams have qualified?
At the moment, the following teams have qualified for the finals:
Qatar (automatically qualified as host nation)