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In 2022 the 22nd FIFA World Cup finals will be held in Qatar. This will be the first World Cup ever to be 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 instead scheduled for late November until mid-December and will be played in a reduced timeframe of around 28 days, with the final being held on 18 December 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 current 32 spots are divided into 8 groups of 4. The spots are allocated to the FIFA zones in advance. 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 biggest 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 have 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, and then their dramatic 7-1 Semi-Final loss against Germany in 2014, despite being the favourites to win. Eight bets were placed on this exact score, forcing many bookmakers to pay out large sums. Brazil are the only team since 1986 to have lost in the final after having better odds to win than their opponents. England also achieved their only World Cup win while hosting the tournament and many other teams have achieved their best tournament performances while hosting. 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, in 15 of the previous 20 World Cup finals the winner has been playing in their host continent.
The qualifying draw took place in July 2019. The final draw for the 2022 World Cup is expected to take place in April 2022. FIFA have confirmed a start date for the 2022 World Cup Finals of November 21st 2022. The final is due to be played on December 18th 2022.