AP World Cup coverage advisory


The 2022 World Cup runs from Nov. 20-Dec. 18 in Qatar. Here are highlights of the AP’s coverage leading up to the first World Cup being hosted by a Middle East country. This advisory is meant for your long-term planning. Complete digest lines, move dates and story lengths will be added as plans take further shape, and this advisory will be updated.

Find all World Cup stories, photos, videos, graphics and interactives in AP...



The 2022 World Cup runs from Nov. 20-Dec. 18 in Qatar. Here are highlights of the AP’s coverage leading up to the first World Cup being hosted by a Middle East country. This advisory is meant for your long-term planning. Complete digest lines, move dates and story lengths will be added as plans take further shape, and this advisory will be updated.

Find all World Cup stories, photos, videos, graphics and interactives in AP Newsroom. An up-to-the minute listing of all stories across formats planned is available in Coverage Plan.

The Associated Press will cover every aspect of the World Cup:

— Full coverage of news and features from training camps in Qatar.

— Full text coverage of all matches, photos from every venue.

— The Latest, featuring quick updates from around Qatar, focusing on game results and news, with photos.

— Mobile-friendly items with visuals, ideal for sharing on social media.

— AP video from outside stadiums and around Qatar.

— Stats and agate package with game summaries and a glance that includes scores, schedules and group standings.

— Live updates on Twitter and Facebook.

In the months leading up to the tournament, the AP will provide:

— SOC—World Cup Watch. A weekly, chunky text look at all things World Cup related including news, injuries, friendly scores. It started moving Aug. 16.

— SOC–WCup-Viewer’s Guide. A how-to watch and what to watch at the World Cup will begin running early August. It will be updated periodically until the tournament starts.

— AP SPORTS EXTRA — WORLD CUP EDITION: A paginated general preview page presented in broadsheet, half-broadsheet and tabloid options. Contact your local sales rep or Barry Bedlan (bbedlan@ap.org) for more information.

— A series of social friendly player profile videos leading into the tournament.

WORLD CUP MOMENTS: Each day in the month before the tournament begins, the AP picks out a moment from World Cup history in photo, text and video.


— SOC—WCup-Schedule.

— SOC—WCup-TV Schedule.

VIDEO EXPLAINERS: The following will move with a text companion and then be available for social sharing throughout tournament. See txt plan for move dates.

— Videos of every soccer venue ready for social sharing.

— How to get a beer in Qatar during the World Cup.

— VAR, the offsides rule.

— Walk to the World Cup. A fan is walking to Qatar from Spain. The AP catches up with him in Southern Iraq.

— World Cup Stadium Accessibility. A look at what the Qataris have done to make the eight World Cup stadiums accessible to disabled people.


A preliminary list of video stories that will run in the run-up to the World Cup. Dates will be added as availability is determined.

QATAR WORLD CUP UNIQUE ACTIVITIES – Other than the games themselves organizers will be offering various entertainment options to fans, including desert-centric sports like sand-kayaking, dune-bashing and sand-surfing.

QATAR WORLD CUP ACTIVITIES – There will be a separate video edit on more conventional entertainment options offered in Doha, such as museums, fan zones, amusement parks and such – working on permits

QATAR WORLD CUP DISABLED ACCESS – We have been given access to some stadiums to show what the organizers have done to make the facilities accessible to people who use wheelchairs – For release during week of Oct. 3.

IRAQ WORLD CUP SPANISH FAN – A Spaniard has been walking from Europe to Qatar to reach the games in time – we caught up with him in the Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah. MOVED.


AP Sports will provide mobile-friendly chunky-text previews for every World Cup-bound team. The previews will be sent between Oct. 24-27 by group. Those that need updating will be re-sent on Wednesday, Nov. 16. A capsule look at each team will run on same days as team preview.

Oct. 24: Groups A & B – Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, Netherlands, England, Iran, United States, Wales

Oct. 25: Groups C & D – Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland, France, Australia, Denmark, Tunisia

Oct. 26: Groups E & F – Spain, Costa Rica, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

Oct. 27: Groups G & H – Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon, Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea


AP EXPLAINERS The AP will run mobile-friendly explainers on a wide-range of topics from Qatari history to how the tournament is run. See below for their move dates with companion text stories.


ML–WCup-Dubai Wants In DUBAI — Millions of soccer fans will be flooding tiny Qatar, and neighboring Dubai – the region’s freewheeling financial hub – wants to cash in. With daily flights and new lavish hotels offering World Cup shuttle transport and other perks, the United Arab Emirates’ flashy emirate is hoping it can enhance its brand and boost its economy through the tournament. With the world’s fair in Dubai closing earlier this year, the globalized city-state no longer has any major marquee events of its own upcoming to attract foreign visitors and investment. Oct. 30. By Jon Gambrell. 900 words, photos, video.

With ML–WCup-Qatar-Travel-Explainer

ML–WCup-Qatar-Securing The World Cup Like the Olympics and other major global events, the threat of terrorism hangs over the World Cup. While the likelihood of an attack is not considered high in Qatar, the game presents a tremendous security challenge. Qatar police have asked Britain and Turkey for help. Authorities consider not only terrorism but public disorder, crime, and other hazards like sandstorms and coronavirus outbreaks as threats to the smooth running of the tournament. The capacities and strategies of security forces will be closely watched in Qatar, a country that outlaws dissent, restricts photography in public spaces and resembles a police state with heavy surveillance. Nov. 4. By Joe Krauss. 800 words, photos.

ML–WCup-Qatar-Laborers One of the world’s biggest sporting events has thrown an uncomfortable spotlight on Qatar’s labor system, which links workers’ visas to employers and keeps wages low for workers toiling in difficult conditions. Scathing international criticism forced Qatar to make some key reforms, including raising the minimum wage and allowing workers to quit without risk of deportation. But activists say that’s not enough, pointing to still-dismal conditions facing migrant workers who built up Qatar’s sprawling stadiums and who will be staffing hotels, serving fans and sweeping streets during the event. Nov. 6.

With ML–World Cup-Qatar-Economy-Explainer

ML–WCup-Israelis And Iranians The regional foes both seek to score during the World Cup. Iranians and Israelis have rubbed elbows at World Cups before, but never at such an event in their own backyard. Although Israel doesn’t have formal relations with Qatar, it hopes the unprecedented arrival of Israeli fans, potentially waving Israeli flags, on the dusty streets of Doha will help advance its ambitions to end decades of official ostracism in the region. Although recognition from Qatar appears far off, Israel has strengthened new diplomatic relations with the nearby United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and sought ties with Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Iran has plunged further into international isolation as its nuclear program accelerates and its sanctions-hit economy spirals. The Islamic Republic has pitched plans to host fans on the beaches of Kish, a small coral resort island in the Persian Gulf, and launched a cruise ship for tournament transport. However, international fans may be hesitant to descend on a country with a pattern of detaining foreign citizens on spurious charges. It remains uncertain whether either country will get what it wants from the first World Cup in the Middle East. By Isabel DeBre. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 11.

ML–WCup-Qatar Politics Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup comes after controversy and a Gulf Arab boycott of this tiny nation on the Arabian Peninsula. Doha long has maintained an outsized role in Arab politics through its Al Jazeera satellite network and funding hundreds of millions of dollars to Syrian rebels or Hamas. But its political positions have caused controversy in the past. By Jon Gambrell. 900 words, photos. Nov. 15.

With-ML–World Cup-Qatar-Diplomacy-Explainer

ML–WCup-Qatar-Culture Clash Some of the world’s rowdiest crowds will be descending on one of the world’s most conservative countries, which restricts alcohol, bans drugs, criminalizes homosexuality and suppresses free speech. How Qatar will handle hordes of hooligans remains an open question. It’s also unclear what the millions of fans coming from all over the world will do for fun in the tiny desert capital, with its limited public space and relatively slim entertainment and cultural offerings. Locals fret about drunken fans and public displays of affection, among other things. Already, a senior official overseeing the tournament has warned rainbow flags may be confiscated. Nov. 17. By Isabel DeBre. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos. Nov. 11.

With ML–World Cup-Qatar-Explainer


SOC—WCup-Accidental Coach Argentina isn’t lacking heralded coaches with five at the 2018 World Cup, while Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pochettino have won titles with European clubs in the last couple of years. But Argentina will be led in Qatra by an accidental coach. Lionel Scaloni started as a caretaker when his only previous experience as head coach was with the Mallorca youth teams. Despite a lacking pedigree, Scaloni became the first coach to win a trophy for Argentina since 1993 when he won the Copa America in 2021. How has he achieved it? By Debora Rey. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Oct. 31.

SOC—WCup-Soccer For Schools Overshadowed by the World Cup buildup, soccer has embarked on probably its most ambitious global youth development program, with an ultimate goal of delivering millions of soccer balls and a coaching program to 700 million children across the world aged between 4 and 14. The Football For Schools project was launched in 2019 but came to a grinding halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has now been relaunched. By Gerald Imray. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Oct. 31. SOC–WCup-Rising Stars Spain’s Pedri González will highlight the list of young players who could make an impact at the World Cup. Others include England’s Jude Bellingham, Germany’s Jamal Musiala and Americans Yunus Musah and Ricardo Pepi. Chunky text. By Andrew Dampf. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos. Nov. 1.

SOC—WCup-Stars Out Erling Haaland is on a scoring tear in his first season at Manchester City but his skills will not be on display in Qatar because Norway didn’t qualify for the World Cup. A chunky text look at the stars who won’t be at the World Cup. By Ciaran Fahey. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos. Nov. 2. SOC–WCup-Last Dance A chunky text look at the players who could be featuring at the World Cup for the last time. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Luis Suárez, Luka Modric, Dani Alves, Manuel Neuer and Thomas Mueller among others. By Ciaran Fahey. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 3.

SOC–WCup-Ecuador-Star Factory Independiente del Valle is Ecuador’s soccer factory, providing a pipeline of talent into the national team. What’s the secret of their success? Gonzalo Solano. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 4.

SOC–WCup-Messi & Ronaldo Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are targeting a fifth World Cup but could this be their last shot at glory on the biggest stage. Much could depend on how their aging bodies are deployed. Both have had to adapt their games in the twilight of their careers to continue producing match-winning moments. By James Robson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 7.

SOC–-WCup-Africa Africans will celebrate the World Cup across almost every mile of a huge continent where, when it comes to sport, soccer has no equal. But behind the scenes, the supposedly autonomous African soccer confederation has come increasingly under the influence of FIFA in what some say is a tactic to help keep Gianni Infantino in control of the world game. By Gerald Imray. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos. Nov. 7.

SOC–WCup-China’s Soccer Fail China’s communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping is a big soccer fan, and he has guided millions of dollars into the game. So far with few positive results. China again failed to qualify for the World Cup. China has advanced only once — in 2002. In that lone appearance it lost three games and didn’t even score a goal. In FIFA’s rankings out in August, China was No. 78, just ahead of the tiny African nation of Gabon. By Stephen Wade. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 7.

SOC—WCup-Pulisic’s Time A sub for much of Chelsea’s season, Christian Pulisic is being counted on to lead the U.S. team at the World Cup. By Ron Blum. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 9.

SOC–WCup-South America Drought It’s been twenty years since one of the South American giants last won the World Cup. After Brazil won its fifth title in Japan and South Korea in 2002, the Selacao has been eliminated as soon they faced an European team in the knock out round. Argentina has managed to beat an European team in those stages, but eventually fell short to others. Why they haven’t been able to win the World Cup? By Eric Nunez. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 9.

SOC–WCup-Mexico’s Veterans If Guillermo Ochoa and Andrés Guardado make the cut, México will become the first country to have two players feature at five World Cups. Two of the four others who have done it were also Mexican: Rafael Márquez and Antonio Carbajal. By Carlos Rodríguez. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 10.

SOC—WCup-Arab Soccer Growth Qatar became the first new Arab country to qualify for the World Cup since 1994 and eighth overall. A look at the development of soccer in the Middle East. By Ken Maguire. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 10.

SOC–WCup-VAR VAR’s World Cup debut came in 2018 but referees and players are still getting to grips with the technology four years ago. Human error is still there with decisions open to interpretation however many times a referees goes over to the pitch-side monitor to watch replays. Players and coaches still protest, but how much is that down to the understanding of the laws of the game? By Soccer Writer James Robson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 11.

With SOC—WCup-VAR-Offsides-Video Explainer

SOC–WCup-European Dominance

When Gianni Infantino told a European soccer gathering he hoped the World Cup winner came from their continent, the FIFA President quickly stated he adapts the answer to whichever region he is in. It’s no laughing matter for much of the world. Seven of the last eight finalists have come from Europe. Can Europe’s dominance of the World Cup be disrupted and would that help soccer? By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 11.

SOC–WCup-Short Tournament The last 32-team World Cup will be the shortest in this era. There are just 28 days from starting on Nov. 21 in Qatar to finishing on Dec. 18. And only 25 days to play seven games if a team from Groups G or H – like Brazil or Portugal – is to reach the final after opening on Nov. 24. That’s the deal FIFA had to strike with European leagues in 2015 to drop the World Cup into the middle of their domestic seasons to play in Qatar’s cooler early winter months. What will the impact be on players? By Graham Dunbar. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos. Nov. 14.

With Video Explainer-Format

SOC–WCup-Benzema’s Redemption PARIS — Karim Benzema looked done with France’s national team after a sex tape scandal, but he has been one of the hottest players this season and is set to make his World Cup return. By Jerome Pugmire. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 16.

SOC—WCup–No Italy

ROME — Italy, a four-time World Cup winner and the current European champion, failed to qualify for a second consecutive World Cup. In a country where club teams rule, there’s a lack of respect for the national team. By Andrew Dampf. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Nov. 16.

SOC–WCup-France-Tough To Repeat

PARIS — Good luck France, the weight of recent World Cup history is against you. Not since Brazil lost the 1998 final has the defending champion come even close to retaining the title. Of the next five World Cup defending champions, four failed to reach the knockout stage and three finished last in their group. A chunky text look at where it went wrong for France in 2002, quarterfinal Brazil in 2006, Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014 and Germany in 2018. And what France might learn from it. By Jerome Pugmire. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 17.

SOC–WCup-Neymar’s Role The hype about Neymar has faded considerably. It’s been a while since he was considered to be among those in contention for the best player in the world award. He lost visibility after moving to Paris Saint-Germain, and his performances with Brazil’s national team have mostly disappointed since the 2014 World Cup, when he was taken out on a stretcher because of a back injury in the quarterfinals. At 30, can Neymar still come through for Brazil and lead the national team to its first World Cup title in 20 years? Is he past his peak? Can he still be a factor? By Tales Azzoni. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 18.

SOC–WCup-No Practice Tactics With little time to practice, coaches will have to adjust their strategies to help national teams gel for the tournament. By Steve Douglas. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 14.


SOC–WCup-Uniforms Rating the jerseys selected by teams for the World Cups. Which teams are playing in their classic colors and which are adapting to, potentially, satisfy the marketeers? By Leanne Itale. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Oct. 28.


Qatar has built eight stadiums for this World Cup and created an entire new city of Lusail where the final will be held. Even with Qatar claiming to be dismantling some stadiums, at least partly, will the tiny country need so many large venues after the tournament. Past World Cups show stadiums can be left as white elephant venues without much of a use. Jrome Pugmire Nov. 1.

With ML–World Cup-Qatar-Sports-Explainer

With video explainer

ML–WCup-Women In Sports An overview of the access to athletics girls and women have in the Middle East through the lens of football. Will explore the sport in places such as Gaza Strip, Egypt, Iran and Jordan, while noting the ongoing Taliban crackdown in Afghanistan means women are off the pitch. By Lee Keath. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos, video by Nov. 2.

With ML–World Cup-Qatar-Women-Explainer

SOC–WCup-What Will Women Wear? After FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar, there were questions about what women would be allowed to wear. The local organizing guide says women must dress modestly with sleeves, long pants or long skirts. No leggings. No skinny jeans. Definitely no yoga pants. We saw a bit of this during the draw, when American Carli Lloyd wore a long dress with long sleeves and a high neckline. Although Qatar is a very Westernized country, the question is: If women visiting the event break the country’s modesty rules, will any punitive measures be taken? Will they be turned away from games? FIFA has not really addressed the issue. The issue of women’s attire in Muslin countries has come under scrutiny due to the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran. By Anne Peterson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 4.

SOC—WCup-Carbon Neutral World Cup?

Organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have said the event will be soccer’s first “carbon neutral” event of its kind. FIFA and Qatari organizers say they will reduce and offset all the event’s carbon emissions, which will be calculated once the games are over. How much energy will it take to power the tournament in the tiny, desert nation that built 7 air-conditioned stadiums out of dust and a new city to accommodate fans? An explanatory story that lays out the energy costs behind the infrastructure powering the World Cup and presents FIFA and Qatar’s carbon neutrality claims against what some scientists and watchdog groups have said about their viability. By Suman Naishadham. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos. Nov. 7.

SOC—WCup-Qatar-Water Woes Qatar is one of the world’s most water-stressed countries, receiving about 3 inches (roughly 8 centimeters) of rain per year. Almost all drinking water in the country comes from purified ocean water while the region’s underground aquifers are being depleted alarmingly fast. Qatar’s water needs will rise during the World Cup, when its population is expected to swell by 50% for 4 weeks. Already, groundskeepers at stadiums are blasting cool air and using desalinated water to ensure turf stays green for the games, highlighting the tournament’s enormous water cost. An Explainer and separate text story on where Qatar’s water comes from and how its water supply has been adapted to accommodate 7 new stadiums, the new city of Lusail, and the many trees planted to offset the emissions generated from all this. By By Suman Naishadham. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos. Nov. 8.

With SOC–WCup-Desalination video explainer

SOC–WCup-Qatar Bound Fans Moving the World Cup from summer has created obstacles for U.S. fans to travel during a time of year when school and work commitments crop up. Ron Blum. Nov 9.


Will the same-sex restrictions in Qatar actually scare fans away? How much of an issue will it be? We could try to find examples of fans who attended past tournaments and are not willing to go now because they are scared. Or examples of fans who will go anyway, and then we can try to monitor them and follow up on how they are being treated. By Mariam Fam. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by Nov. 9.

With SOC–WCup-Qatar-Laws and Customs-Explainer SOC–WCup-Fan Experience Fan groups discuss what they think will be the opportunities and challenges for thousands of fans from across the world arriving into a society that has codified norms of social behavior and is expensive to visit. As usual, Argentine fans should travel to Qatar in big numbers despite inflation on the rise, economic woes, difficulties to purchase US currency. By Graham Dunbar and Debora Rey. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 10.

With ML–World Cup-Qatar-History-Explainer

With SOC—WCup-Finding A Beer-Video Explainer

SOC–WCup-Super Fan Mexico super fan Caramelo claims Qatar will be the 10th World Cup he has attended. He’s also managed to go to more than El Tri matches, he claims. By Carlos Rodriguez. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, video. Nov. 13.

SOC—WCup-Absent Russia The host nation in 2018, Russia, is not only absent from the World Cup this time, it hasn’t played a competitive men’s soccer game for a year. Russia was excluded from international soccer and kicked out of World Cup qualifying after it invaded Ukraine. Still, Qatar’s emir thanked Russia in October for its “great support” for organizing the upcoming World Cup. By James Ellingworth. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.

SOC–WCup-Sharing Prize Money When the men’s and women’s national teams struck new contracts with U.S. Soccer, they decided to split World Cup prize money down the middle. That was a big deal: In 2018, FIFA earmarked $400 million in prize money for the 2018 men’s tournament, including $38 million to champion France, and $30 million for the 2019 women’s tournament, including $4 million to the champion United States. Canada, which is currently in contentious contract talks with its federation, has proposed a similar distribution as a way of equalizing the playing field. Australia, which hosts the Women’s World Cup is calling on FIFA for more equitable prize pools. By Anne Peterson. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Nov. 15.

SOC–WCup-Sportswashing When Qatar turned into a bidder for the 2022 World Cup, heads turned. Why would a Middle Eastern kingdom, smaller than Connecticut and with a population of fewer than 3 million, want to host a massive event for sport with which it had no tradition? The simple answer: So it could reintroduce itself on the world stage as something other than an oil producer with a bad human-rights record. It was, in many eyes, a classic case of “sportswashing” – a phrase that has been thrown around liberally to describe the new LIV golf league being funded by Saudi Arabia. But sportswashing is nothing new to golf, or soccer, or any big-time sport, for that matter. The world’s biggest soccer teams are – and, thus, their players, as well — are bought and paid for by dozens of Gulf state interests. By Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by Nov. 16.

SOC–-WCup-Broadcasters-Woman Lead NEW YORK — Fox World Cup broadcasters, leading with Jacqui Oakley, first woman to broadcast play by play for a U.S. network at World Cup. By Ron Blum. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Nov. 17.

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