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Which teams are playing international friendlies before World Cup 2022? Fixtures and results ahead of Qatar tournament

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With the 2022 World Cup in Qatar being played later in the year than usual, teams have an even shorter window to get their players ready. 

Club football in Europe will continue until November 13 with the tournament set to officially kickoff just one week later. 

That means most sides will get less than seven days together before beginning their World Cup campaigns.

Friendly games are usually a key part of World Cup preparation but Qatar 2022 means not every team have opted to play them.  

MORE: Complete World Cup 2022 schedule | World Cup prize money hits new high

Which teams are playing friendlies before World Cup 2022?

Just over half of the 32 qualified sides have scheduled official friendlies to be played in the weeks before the 2022 World Cup. 

The likes of England, France, USA and Australia have all opted against arranging such matches. 

Of the sides that have locked in an official friendly, Saudi Arabia will be the busiest and are scheduled to play three games prior to the World Cup starting. 

Iraq have been favoured as a suitable opponent for pre-World Cup friendlies with four teams competing in Qatar lining up games against them. 

World Cup teams with confirmed friendlies: 

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Mexico
  • Cameroon
  • Costa Rica
  • Iran
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Ecuador
  • Belgium
  • Argentina
  • Germany
  • Croatia
  • Poland
  • Ghana
  • Switzerland
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Serbia
Saudi Arabia

When will friendlies be played before the World Cup?

Friendly dates leading up to the World Cup are up to the discretion of each nation and largely dependent on where their players are based. 

Saudi Arabia, for example, will play their first friendly on November 6 with their national league having paused on October 17. 

Other sides will have to wait until European leagues officially release their players on November 14 if most of their team consists of players from such competitions. 

The majority of friendlies are set to be played on November 16 and 17 with the final friendly involving a World Cup side set to take place on November 18. 

International friendlies fixtures and results

Date Match/Result
Sun, Nov. 6 Saudi Arabia vs. Iceland
Tue, Nov. 8 Mexico vs. Iraq
Wed, Nov. 9 Cameroon vs. Jamaica
Wed, Nov. 9 Costa Rica vs. Nigeria
Thu, Nov. 10 Panama vs. Saudi Arabia
Thu, Nov. 10 Iran vs. Nicaragua
Fri, Nov. 11 South Korea vs. Iceland
Fri, Nov. 11 Bahrain vs. Canada
Sat, Nov. 12 Iraq vs. Ecuador
Tue, Nov. 15 Iraq vs. Belgium
Wed, Nov. 16 UAE vs. Argentina
Wed, Nov. 16 Oman vs. Germany
Wed, Nov. 16 Saudia Arabia vs. Croatia
Wed, Nov. 16 Poland vs. Chile
Wed, Nov. 16 Mexico vs. Sweden
Thu, Nov. 17 Ghana vs. Switzerland
Thu, Nov. 17 Japan vs. Canada
Thu, Nov. 17 Iraq vs. Costa Rica
Thu, Nov. 17 Jordan vs. Spain
Thu, Nov. 17 Portugal vs. Nigeria
Fri, Nov. 18 Cameroon vs. Panama
Fri, Nov. 18 Belgium vs. Egypt
Fri, Nov. 18 Bahrain vs. Serbia


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