FIFA have mapped out the final dates for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with the World Cup final set to be staged on December 18.
The tournament will begin on November 21 with four group matches held each day until December 2.
The 2022 World Cup final will be held on December 18 – just seven days before Christmas Day
It could be the perfect early Christmas gift for Gareth Southgate and millions of England fans.
The group games will be played over a 12-day period, with matches not being assigned to particular venues until after the finals draw in March 2022 in order to choose optimal kick-off times to suit television audiences in different countries as well as supporters out in Qatar.
Kick-off times for the first two rounds of matches will be 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm local time, and with the stadiums all within a 40-mile radius of each other it will enable supporters and media to realistically attend two games on the same day.
For all but three games there will be a three-day rest period in between. There will also be no need for teams, supporters or media to spend time flying or taking long rail or road journeys between matches.
Kick-off times in the final round of group games and knock-out round matches will be at 6pm and 10pm local time.
The tournament’s opening match will be played at the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor on Monday, November 21 in a match which will feature the host country.
The 2022 final venue is the Lusail Stadium in Doha, with the showpiece game to be played on Sunday, December 18.
A start date has not yet been fixed for the European section of World Cup qualification. The announcement comes two years to the day since the 2018 World Cup final.