The Radio Times logo

When will England play in the next World Cup?

After a semi-final loss to Croatia at Russia 2018, England will have to wait a LONG time for the next tournament

Published: Friday, 13th July 2018 at 9:10 am

Football might not be coming home in 2018, but England will have another chance to lift the World Cup – but not for a while.


Presuming they qualify, we’ll have to wait four years to see England play in a World Cup finals at Qatar 2022. However, due to the Gulf state's hot climate, there’s been a few major changes to the competition.

Here’s everything you need to know about the next World Cup and its qualifying stage…

When is the next World Cup on TV?

Qatar – a country that borders Saudi Arabia – will host the competition in 2022. This will mark the first World Cup in an Arab country.

Rather than being held in summer, the tournament will take place November 21 to December 18 due to Qatar’s scorching climate. The unprecedented date change will allow teams to play in average temperatures of 22C, rather than the desert state’s 42C average in July and June.

This means the competition will clash with the regular Premier League season schedule. It’s not yet clear whether the EPL will start a month earlier in July to make room for a World Cup break.

BBC and ITV will broadcast the competition.

When do England play in the World Cup 2022 qualifiers?

The qualification process has not yet been announced, but it's likely to start two years before the tournament, in 2020.

The Qatar football team, currently ranked 98 in the world, have already qualified as hosts, despite never having played in the World Cup or FIFA Confederations Cup.

The Qatar national football team (we don't recognise any of them, either)
The Qatar national football team in 2017 (we don't recognise any of them, either)

When will England play in the European Championships?

The Three Lions will only have to wait two years before they face European sides in a major competition.

Although previous Euro tournaments have been held in one or two countries, the competition is scheduled to be held in 12 cities in 12 countries from 12 June to 12 July 2020. This is to celebrate 60 years of the tournament.

As part of this pan-European approach, London’s Wembley Stadium will host the semi-finals and final. Glasgow’s Hampden Park and Dublin’s Aviva Stadium will also host group games.

Although England are hosting the final leg of the tournament, they – alongside all European host nations – will not automatically qualify.


The 55 European teams – including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – have not yet been sorted into the 10 qualifying groups. The draw for this will take place 2 December 2018, with qualifying matches to take place 21 March to 19 November 2019.

Sign up for the free newsletter


Sponsored content