For the first time in 36 years, Canada is sending a team to the men’s FIFA World Cup. Here’s everything you need to know, including when and where to watch Canada’s soccer team play in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
When does the World Cup start and what’s the schedule?
The World Cup started on Nov. 20, with Qatar and Ecuador kicking off the competition. The group stage of the World Cup runs until Dec. 2, after which qualifying teams will compete in the knock-out stage, leading up to the final match on Dec. 18.
The full World Cup schedule is:
- Group stage: Nov. 20 to Dec. 2
- Round of 16: Dec. 3 to Dec. 6
- Quarterfinals: Dec. 9 to Dec. 10
- Semifinals: Dec. 13 to Dec. 14
- Third-place match: Dec. 17
- Final: Dec. 18
What’s the group stage?
During the group stage, 32 national teams compete in groups of four for their spot in the knock-outs. The top two teams from each of the eight groups are able to move on to the next round of 16.
Canada’s group consists of Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco. Belgium is ranked second in the world. Croatia lost to France in the final of the last World Cup and currently ranks No. 12. Morocco is going into the event as No. 22, and the Canadian soccer team is No. 41.
Where is the 2022 World Cup taking place?
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is being held in five different cities in Qatar. Due to Qatar’s extremely hot summers, the World Cup is taking place in the fall for the first time. The open-air stadiums are equipped with air conditioning to bring down the temperature for players and fans.
The decision to host the World Cup in Qatar was controversial due to the country’s human-rights records. Qatar has been criticized over its treatment of migrant workers who built billion-dollar upgrades to the country’s infrastructure ahead of the event, and its criminalization of homosexuality.
In September, Denmark’s team unveiled black jerseys to honour migrant workers who died during construction work. Australia’s soccer team released a video in October to call out Qatar’s record on human rights and same-sex relationships.
When is Canada scheduled to play in the World Cup?
Canada will play three matches in the group stage between Nov. 23 and Dec. 1:
- Canada vs. Belgium: Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. ET
- Canada vs. Croatia: Sunday, Nov. 27 at 11 a.m. ET
- Canada vs. Morocco: Thursday, Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. ET
How can Canadians watch the world cup?
French-language coverage will be available on RDS.
What countries are competing?
Thirty-two national teams are competing for the World Cup. This is the last time the quadrennial competition will follow this format, as the 2026 World Cup and the following ones will include 48 teams.
The 2022 teams and groups are:
- Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands
- Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales
- Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
- Group D: France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
- Group E: Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan
- Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia
- Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
- Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea
What are Team Canada’s jerseys?
Canada is the only team not getting a new kit for the World Cup. The team is competing in the same jerseys they debuted in 2021 instead of getting new ones for the occasion, leaving some fans and players disappointed.
“The 2022 Canada kit will be the same the team has worn throughout the past year, as Canada Soccer is on a different kit development cycle,” Nike said in a press release.
The kits highlight Canada’s traditional red and white colour scheme and feature the maple leaf.
Where does Canada stand in the men’s FIFA world rankings?
Canada moved up two places to No. 41 in the final FIFA rankings before the World Cup. The Canadian men, who topped the final round of qualifying in CONCACAF, will go to Qatar as the fourth-ranked team in the region covering North and Central America and the Caribbean, behind No. 13 Mexico, the 16th-ranked Americans and No. 31 Costa Rica.
FIFA’s top five is unchanged, with Brazil widening its lead atop the rankings over No. 2 Belgium, Canada’s first opponent at the World Cup. Argentina is third, followed by France and England.