How Often Is the FIFA World Cup?

How Often Is the FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is the biggest soccer tournament in the world. Whenever it occurs, it is one of the most televised and watched sporting events across the globe. Unfortunately for avid soccer fans, the World Cup is not an annual event. The remainder of this piece will discuss how often the World Cup occurs, as well as some other timing logistics.


How Often Is the FIFA World Cup?

Ever since the first World Cup occurred in 1930, the FIFA Men’s World Cup has been held every four years. The lone exception over the years has been the twelve-year gap between the 1938 World Cup and the 1950 World Cup. The reason for this gap was the eruption of World War II, which lasted from 1939-1945, and left the world unable to host a World Cup in 1942 or 1946. Ever since the 1950 edition, however, the World Cup has gone on uninterrupted every four years. The next tournament will occur in November-December of 2022 in Qatar.

How Often Is the FIFA Women’s World Cup?

FIFA held the first Women’s World Cup in 1991, 61 years after the first men’s World Cup in 1930. Like the men’s tournament, the Women’s World Cup is held every four years, and it has been done this way uninterrupted, occurring seven times thus far since 1991. The next Women’s World Cup will be jointly held by Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

Why is the World Cup Every Four Years?

The main reason why FIFA World Cups are held every four years is so that there is enough time for regions of the world to hold qualification processes that are fair, and which give all of their members a reasonable chance to qualify. Additionally, the time off between events allows the next World Cup’s host nation to plan for all of the logistics that come along with hosting a tournament of this magnitude, such as building or updating stadiums, planning for the influx of players and fans, and many other considerations. 

Lastly, players also play for their Club teams in addition to their countries, so they cannot spend all of their time playing and qualifying for international events. They need time to participate in their club’s games, so four years provides enough time for players to do both.

When are World Cup Qualifiers?

World Cup qualifiers vary depending on the region of the world, but generally, they occur in the three years prior to the World Cup. Thus, for the 2022 World Cup, World Cup qualifying began, in some places, during 2019. Qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, like everything else, was thrown off schedule by the COVID-19 Pandemic, but all of the regions were able to reschedule their qualification processes in plenty of time, and all 32 teams are set for the 2022 World Cup starting in November.

FAQ

Is the FIFA World Cup every two or four years?

The FIFA World Cup occurs every four years. This has been the case with every World Cup since 1930, except for the years between 1942 and 1946, due to World War II ravishing nations across the globe.

How long does it take to set up the FIFA World Cup?

A lot of the preparation for setting up the World Cup takes place in the four years between events, but initial preparation starts as soon as the host learns they will host a World Cup. For the 2022 World Cup, for example, Qatar learned they would be the hosts in 2010, so World Cup preparation began at that time.