The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off with 32 teams competing to reach the final on Sunday, December 18. Only two will get there, and one will get to hoist the trophy.
Over the course of these next few weeks, all the other nations will be packing up and heading home from Qatar after falling short of fulfilling the ultimate dream.
The competition started with a group stage and the field will be cut in half by the end of it, with only 16 teams making it to the knockout rounds (check out the complete World Cup schedule here).
The knockout rounds are a series of single-elimination matches, in which a winner needs to be determined on the day. If teams are tied at the end of 90 minutes, 30 minutes of extra time will be played, and if the deadlock still persists, a penalty shootout will determine the winner.
- Group stage: Sun, Nov. 20 - Fri, Dec. 2
- Round of 16: Sat, Dec. 3 - Tue, Dec. 6
- Quarterfinals: Fri, Dec. 9 - Sat, Dec. 10
- Semifinals: Tue, Dec. 13 - Wed, Dec. 14
- Final: Sun, Dec. 18
With so many teams involved, The Sporting News will be tracking the teams as they are eliminated throughout the tournament in Qatar.
Teams out of the World Cup: Every nation eliminated
The table below will be updated throughout the tournament as teams fall by the wayside. The most recent team eliminated will be at the top.
There is yet to be a single team eliminated as of Thursday, November 24.
How many teams are in the World Cup?
Since the 1998 edition of the tournament, there have been 32 nations that qualify to the men's FIFA championship held every four years.
That is set to change.
Beginning with the 2026 World Cup in North America (USA, Canada, and Mexico) the field will be expanded to 48 teams. The group stage will consist of 16 groups of three teams each with 32 teams advancing to the knockouts.
Careful not to add to the players' workload, the total number of matches at the tournament will grow from 64 to 80, but the number of matches for any single team will not increase.
The maximum number of matches that the winning team will play at the 2026 World Cup is the same as in 2022: seven total matches.
In 2022, teams play three group matches followed by a maximum of four knockout stage contests for teams that make the final or third-place match. In 2026, the eventual winner will still play seven matches: two group matches and five in the knockouts on the way to hoisting the trophy.