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What time are the World Cup games in the US?

World Cup games time US

With a World Cup on the other side of the planet, it is a fair question to ask what time the World Cup games start in the US. From Doha to New York, it is a seven-hour difference.

As the upcoming 2022 World Cup is all set to be played in Qatar, matches will air here Stateside at a bit of an unusual time. Fortunately, these kickoff times are consistent throughout the tournament. You can rely on games starting at the same four times every day throughout the tournament.

During the group stage, when there are four games every day, the World Cup games are at consistent times for the most part. The following are all relative to the Eastern Time zone.


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What time are the World Cup games for US viewers?

The first games start at 5 a.m. ET, with other games following at 8 a.m. ET, 11 a.m. ET and 2 p.m. ET Of course, Americans in different time zones must make the ensuing adjustments to that schedule based on where they live.

Those living on the west coast may need to set their DVRs to record the earlier games. The beginning matches of each matchday will start at 2:00AM in the Pacific Time Zone.

To complicate matters, there are a few exceptions to these group stage matches.  The opening game between hosts Qatar and Ecuador will be played at 11 a.m. ET on Nov. 20. This matchup will be the only game of that particular day. Then, on the following day, there is no game scheduled for the 5 a.m. ET slot. Therefore, the first game on Nov. 21 is at 8 a.m. ET, then 11 a.m. ET and 2 p.m. ET

Complexity continues in the third and final round of the group stage. There are still four games over the last four days of the group stage. However, these are over two time slots. FIFA does this in an attempt to avoid match fixing between teams. Two games start at 10 a.m. ET, while another group has two games at 2 p.m. ET the same day.

Knockout Stages

Luckily, scheduling gets a bit easier to follow once the tournament is in the knockout phase.  Like the final group stage, round of 16 and quarter final matches will be played at 10 a.m. ET and 2 p.m. ET  The two semi final games will both take place at 2 p.m. ET on back-to-back days.

The third-place match is set for December 17th, at 10 a.m. ET and finally, the final will be played the following day at 10a.m. ET  Qatar is in the Arabian Time Zone (GMT +3).  They do not have any Daylight Savings Time clock changes to consider.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Sven Simon

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