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In 2022 the 22nd FIFA World Cup finals will be held in Qatar. This will be the first World Cup held in the Arab world and the first in a Muslim-majority country. The tournament will also be the first World Cup not to be held in May, June, or July; the tournament is scheduled for late November until mid-December and will be played in a reduced timeframe of about 28 days, with the final being held on December 18th 2022.
Qualifying games are played over the 3 years before the finals in the six FIFA continental zones of Africa, Asia, North and Central America and Caribbean, South America, Oceania and Europe. The World Cup Finals currently consists of 32 teams. The 32 spots are allocated to the FIFA zones in advance and divided into 8 groups of 4. In Europe, for instance, the allocation is for 13 teams from UEFA. In the UEFA qualifiers, 9 groups of 6 teams play home and away matches, and the winning teams from each group move forward to the Finals. The best 8 runners-up then proceed to play-offs in November 2021 to decide the final 4 places. As the hosts, Qatar will qualify automatically.
About 70% of the sports betting industry is estimated to come from betting on Football, which makes the FIFA World Cup one of the most significant events in the sporting calendar for betting. During qualifiers, popular bets are on the outcomes of group games, the winners of each group and which countries will qualify for the 2018 finals. Once we reach the finals themselves, the most popular bet is on the outright winner of the tournament. Each-way betting on a country to reach the final or win is also popular. In the group stages, bets can be placed on the winner of each group. Throughout the tournament, bets can be placed on the final score of individual matches, top goal scorers and even what players will be on individual squads.
Since the tournament's inception in 1930, there have been 8 winners of the World Cup. Brazil has won 5 times, Germany and Italy 4 times each, France, Argentina and Uruguay twice and England and Spain once each. 6 of the 8 have won at least one of their titles whilst playing as the host nation. The exceptions are Spain, who went out in the second round when they hosted in 1982 and Brazil. Brazil hosted the tournament twice, losing in the Final in 1950, then their dramatic 7-1 Semi-Final loss against Germany in 2014, despite being the favourites to win. Eight bets were placed on this score, forcing many bookmakers to pay large sums. Brazil is the only team since 1986 to have lost in the final after having better odds to win than their opponents. England also won their only World Cup while hosting the tournament, and many other teams have achieved their best tournament performances as host. Since 1986 the team with the longest odds to become overall winner of the tournament was Italy in 2006 with odds of 10/1. Teams playing on their home continent have greater odds of becoming the overall winner. The winner has been playing in their host continent in 15 of the previous 20 World Cup finals.