The 2022 Fifa World Cup has kicked off in Qatar. Here is how you can watch the Socceroos in action as Australia takes on Denmark in the final match of their group stage.
When is the World Cup happening?
In a drastic departure from its usual June and July slot on the calendar, the 22nd edition of the showcase tournament kicked off on Monday 21 November. Hosts Qatar lifted the curtain against Ecuador, while Australia’s national football team got their campaign up and running against defending champions France. Australia’s next match of the group stage is against Denmark on Thursday morning, with a kick off time of 2am AEDT.
Socceroos Group D fixtures:
France vs Australia – Wednesday 23 November, 6am AEDT
Tunisia vs Australia – Saturday 26 November, 9pm AEDT
Australia vs Denmark – Thursday 1 December, 2am AEDT
This year’s World Cup is the last to feature 32 teams before the competition expands to 48 in Canada, Mexico and the US in 2026. Those teams are divided into eight groups of four, with winners and runners-up from each to advance to the last 16. The knockout stage begins in the early hours of 4 December, the quarter-finals on 10 December and the semis on 14 December.
The 2022 World Cup final is scheduled to be played at 2am AEDT on Monday 19 December – which is also Qatar National Day. In total, 64 matches will be played over the course of the month-long tournament.
How can I watch and follow from Australia?
The Guardian is extensively liveblogging the tournament with live blogs for individual matches running throughout the group stage all the way until the final.
On the ground in Qatar will be a team of 15 Guardian journalists, including Socceroos correspondent Emma Kemp, all of whom will be reporting on both the football on the pitch and the myriad issues arising off it.
For those watching on their couches, every match can be seen live in a free-to-air exclusive broadcast on SBS, with live streams available on SBS On Demand. Eight of those live games will also be shown on SBS Viceland.
Where is it happening?
In another break with tradition, every ball at this World Cup will be kicked within a 55km radius in Doha, the capital of Qatar, making it the most geographically compact tournament in World Cup history. Eight stadiums will host the matches, ranging from the smallest – Stadium 974, Al Janoub Stadium and Al Thumama Stadium, which hold 40,000 – to the 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium, which will host the final.
Why is it controversial?
From Fifa’s original decision to award hosting rights to Qatar 12 years ago to the country’s record on human rights, via its treatment of migrant workers and discriminatory laws, this World Cup has attracted attention for the wrong reasons like no other before it. For many, the tournament sits uncomfortably, but it will provide an opportunity to use the spotlight on Qatar to draw attention to these issues.
This is a World Cup like no other. For the last 12 years the Guardian has been reporting on the issues surrounding Qatar 2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the treatment of migrant workers and discriminatory laws. The best of our journalism is gathered on our dedicated Qatar: Beyond the Football home page for those who want to go deeper into the issues beyond the pitch.
Guardian reporting goes far beyond what happens on the pitch. Support our investigative journalism today.
Is this the last major sporting event this year?
If you have been thinking there have been a quite a few World Cups going on of late, you would not be wrong. Between the T20 World Cup, the men’s and women’s Rugby League World Cups and the Women’s Rugby World Cup, it’s been a hectic end to the year. The tournament in Qatar, which unusually will be played in the same year as the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, is not quite the last one of the 2022 though – there’s still the short course swimming championships in Melbourne and a couple of Test cricket series to come in December if you’re not already completely over sport.