Qatar World Cup 2022 has been in the news for all the wrong reasons so far. From the deaths of migrant workers to corruption and the organisers anti-LGBTQIA stand.
But as one of the biggest sporting events in the world is about to start, the focus now will finally shift to football.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 will kick off on Sunday, November 20, with the hosts Qatar facing Ecuador.
The first World Cup in the Middle East or West Asia has 32 teams in 8 groups and the event that will go on for 29 days will have 64 matches.
From the tournament's format, star players and favorites to everything else, we have got you covered. Here's all you need to know about Qatar World Cup 2022:
FIFA World Cup format: The 32 teams have been drawn into eight groups of four nations. The top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stages. After the group stage, the tournament will move to a round of 16, followed by eight teams in the quarterfinals, four in the semifinals, and then the final.
Four matches will be played each day during the group stage, which will run over a 12-day period.
8 GROUPS FOR QATAR 2022
Group A: Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador
Group B: England, USA, Wales, Iran
Group C: Argentina, Poland, Mexico, Saudi Arabia
Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Australia
Group E: Germany, Spain, Japan, Costa Rica
Group F: Belgium, Croatia, Canada, Morocco
Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon
Group H: Portugal, Uruguay, Ghana, Korea Republic
Who are the favourites: According to the bookies, Brazil are the favourites to win the World Cup, followed by Argentina, who are now unbeaten in 35 matches and are third in FIFA rankings.
The dark horse: While everyone is expecting Brazil, Argentina or France to win the title, one team that doesn't have as many big stars but could surprise everyone with their team performance is Denmark
Denmark have, got a good depth in its squad. In the defence they have Andreas Christensen, Jannik Vestergaard, Rasmus Kristensen and Daniel Wass, in the midfield they have the likes of Christian Eriksen, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Thomas Delaney. They have great attacking options in Andreas Skov Olsen, Martin Braithwaite and Kasper Dolberg and one of the best goalkeepers in Kasper Schmeichel.
4 players to watch out for:
Lionel Messi: It's now or never for Messi if he wants to win a World Cup. He came very close in 2014 but lost in the final to Germany. This time he would want to lead the team from the front and win the World Cup title, his first.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Ronaldo likes to prove everyone wrong. And with all the controversy going on around with his club Manchester United, he would like to silence all his critics with a good show in the World Cup.
Neymar: Neymar's World Cup journey has been full of ups annd downs with injuries, wins and losses. The kind of squad Brazil has at the moment gives Neymar a great opportinity to finally take his team to a World Cup title after a long time.
Kylian Mbappe: Mbappe was the hero for France during their World Cup win in Russia. And he has since then been brilliant with his club PSG. He has got the pace and is creative in the final half of the pitch. And this combo makes his really dangerous striker.
Why we are having the World Cup during winter? The World Cup is usually played during the summers in the months of June and July. But because the hosts Qatar has intense summers with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius, the FIFA decided to host the tournament in November-December. This will disrupt the league games fixtures of many contries.
Countries with the most World Cups: Only eight countries have won the World Cup trophy so far and Brazil's five titles are the most by any team. Germany and Italy have won four trophies each. Argentina, France and Uruguay have won the World Cup twice, while England, and Spain have one the title once each.
Top matches to watch in the group stages:
The venues: The games will take place at eight stadiums in Qatar. These are: Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Iconic Stadium, Stadium 974, Education City Stadium and Al Janoub Stadium. With 80,000 seats, Lusail Iconic Stadium is the largest of Qatar.
When and Where to watch the matches in India: Following the opening ceremony, Qatar will play the first group-stage match against Ecuador at 9.30 pm (IST) on November 20. World Cup will be broadcast LIVE in India on Sports18 and Sports18 HD for those watching on TV. It will be streamed LIVE on the JioCinema app in India. Matches can be watched on the JioCinema app and the JioCinema website for free.
FIFA World Cup fixtures (IST):
November 20 -- Qatar vs Ecuador - 9:30 PM IST
England vs Iran - 6:30 PM IST
Senegal vs Netherlands - 9:30 PM IST
USA vs Wales - 12:30 AM IST
Argentina vs Saudi Arabia - 3:30 PM IST
Denmark vs Tunisia - 6:30 PM IST
Mexico vs Poland - 9:30 PM IST
France vs Australia - 12:30 AM IST
Morocco vs Croatia - 3:30 PM IST
Germany vs Japan - 6:30 PM IST
Spain vs Costa Rica - 9:30 PM IST
Belgium vs Canada - 12:30 AM IST
Switzerland vs Cameroon - 3:30 PM IST
Uruguay vs South Korea - 6:30 PM IST
Portugal vs Ghana - 9:30 PM IST
Brazil vs Serbia - 12:30 AM IST
Wales vs Iran - 3:30 PM IST
Qatar vs Senegal - 6:30 PM IST
Netherlands vs Ecuador - 9:30 PM IST
England vs USA - 12:30 AM IST
Tunisia vs Australia - 3:30 PM IST
Poland vs Saudi Arabia - 6:30 PM IST
France vs Denmark - 9:30 PM IST
Argentina vs Mexico - 12:30 AM IST
Japan vs Costa Rica - 3:30 PM IST
Belgium vs Morocco - 6:30 PM IST
Croatia vs Canada - 9:30 PM IST
Spain vs Germany - 12:30 AM IST
Cameroon vs Serbia - 3:30 PM IST
South Korea vs Ghana - 6:30 PM IST
Brazil vs Switzerland - 9:30 PM IST
Portugal vs Uruguay - 12:30 AM IST
Ecuador vs Senegal - 8:30 PM IST
Netherlands vs Qatar - 8:30 PM IST
Iran vs USA - 12:30 AM IST
Wales vs England - 12:30 AM IST
Tunisia vs France - 8:30 PM IST
Australia vs Denmark - 8:30 PM IST
Poland vs Argentina - 12:30 AM IST
Saudi Arabia vs Mexico - 12:30 AM IST
Canada vs Morocco - 8:30 PM IST
Croatia vs Belgium - 8:30 PM IST
Costa Rica vs Germany - 12:30 AM IST
Japan vs Spain - 12:30 AM IST
Ghana vs Uruguay - 8:30 PM IST
South Korea vs Portugal - 8:30 PM IST
Cameroon vs Brazil - 12:30 AM IST
Serbia vs Switzerland - 12:30 AM IST
1C vs 2D - 12:30 AM IST
1D vs 2C - 8:30 PM IST
1B vs 2A - 12:30 AM IST
1E vs 2F - 8:30 PM IST
1G vs 2H - 12:30 AM IST
1F vs 2E - 8:30 PM IST
1H vs 2G - 12:30 AM IST
Quarter-final 1 - 8:30 PM IST
Quarter-final 2 - 12:30 AM IST
Quarter-final 3 - 8:30 PM IST
Quarter-final 4 - 12:30 AM IST
Semi-final 1 - 12:30 AM IST
Semi-final 2 - 12:30 AM IST
FINAL - 8:30 PM IST