Following the conclusion of Euro 2020, attention is turning to the next major international football tournament – the World Cup.
England’s penalty shootout heartbreak in front of their own fans at Wembley Stadium has a nation in mourning after a Euros campaign which promised so much.
Gareth Southgate’s young Three Lions delivered with notable wins over Germany in the last 16, Ukraine in the quarter finals and Denmark in a tense semi final match.
But the experienced Italy machine – now unbeaten in 34 matches – proved too much in the final, despite the heroics of super stopper Jordan Pickford in the England goal.
And, as the dust settles on the delayed Euros, rays of optimism are starting to appear through the grey clouds, as hope begins to return for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
Here’s when the next World Cup will take place, where, and the qualifying groups and fixtures to be played out before then…
Where is World Cup 2022?
Qatar has been chosen as the host country for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Middle Eastern country, east of Saudi Arabia on the Persian Gulf coastline, won the most votes from FIFA in December 2010.
It will be only the second time the World Cup has been held in Asia following the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan.
When does World Cup 2022 start?
Qatar 2022 will be the first World Cup to be held through the winter due to the scorching hot weather experienced in the summer months.
The first game of the 2022 World Cup will kick off on Monday 21 November, with four group stage fixtures scheduled each day until Friday 2 December.
The round of 16 will start on Saturday 3 December, with two matches planned per day over four days, to Tuesday 6 December.
Quarter finals are planned for Friday 9 December and Saturday 10 December before the two semi final games on Tuesday 13 December and Wednesday 14 December.
The third place play off will take place on Saturday 17 December and the final will kick off on Sunday 18 December to decide the winner of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The dates will interrupt the domestic 2022/23 club seasons across Europe, including the Premier League, if the leagues continue in the usual August to May format.
What are the 2022 World Cup stadiums?
The 2022 World Cup will take place over three host cities in Qatar - Doha, Al Dhakira and Al Wakrah. The stadiums are as follows:
Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium - Capacity: 40,000. Opened: 18 December 2020.
Al Bayt Stadium - Capacity: 60,000. Opened: TBD.
Al Janoub Stadium - Capacity: 40,000. Opened: 2019.
Al Thumama Stadium - Capacity: 40,000. Opened: TBD.
Education City Stadium - Capacity: 40,000. Completed: 2020.
Khalifa International Stadium - Capacity: 45,416. Opened: 1976 (renovated in 2017)
Lusail Stadium - Capacity: 80,000. Opened: TBD.
Ras Abu Aboud Stadium - Capacity: 40,000. Opened: TBD.
The final of the 2020 World Cup will take place at Lusail Stadium.
What is the qualifying process for Qatar 2022?
The qualification process for all European countries will continue in September 2021.
Three fixtures from the qualifying groups stage have already been played in March 2021 prior to the postponed Euro 2020 tournament, which begins on 11 June.
There are three more international windows for the qualifiers to be played in early September and the second weeks of October and November for qualification from the group stage.
A total of 55 nations are competing in 10 groups for 13 places at the Qatar World Cup.
When do England play next?
Following the Euro 2020 final, England return to the qualifying campaign for World Cup 2022.
England face Hungary away on Thursday 2 September, Andorra at home on Sunday 5 September, and Poland away on Wednesday 8 September.
England are away to Andorra on Saturday 9 October, home to Hungary on Tuesday 12 October, home to Albania on Friday 12 November and away to San Marino on Monday 15 November.
England have won three from three and sit top of their European qualifying group.