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Last update: 2021-11-27

Excel Schedule

Preview of the Excel Schedule World Cup 2022


You are looking for a fully automatic Excel schedule with automatic updating of the group tables, automatic assignment of teams in the knockout round, multilingual, choice of time zone, consideration of all FIFA rules including fair play and drawing of lots, highlighting the games of the current day, if possible an overview of all direct comparisons with the corresponding tables in the case of three teams?

All of this is not enough for you? You would also like to have explained every formula of this Excel schedule - no, even better: you would like a detailed tutorial on how to create this Excel schedule yourself? And all of this for free and free of advertising?

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Then you are right here!

Here is a preliminary Excel schedule for free download and for free use. The final match schedule will be published on 2 April 2022 after the draw for the groupings.

There is also a free, detailed tutorial as a PDF file with detailed instructions on how this Excel schedule can be produced, with an explanation of all the Excel formulas it contains and one Excel file for each chapter that corresponds to the stage of development according to this chapter.

Preliminary schedule (Final match schedule as of 2 April 2022 after the draw for the groupings) Download .xlsx
Create this World Cup schedule yourself with Excel
hinweispfeil WCup_Tutorial_1.0.8_en.pdf    (Last update: 2021-11-03)
Excel files for the tutorial Download .zip


Since the final participants will not be known until the end of the play-offs at the end of March 2022, the final World Cup schedule with the names of the participating nations can only then appear.
After the draw for the grouping, which will take place in Doha on 1 April 2022, the provisional team names A1, A2, A3, A4, B1, ... H4 will be replaced by the final team names.

For the tutorial there are ten Excel files that represent the current status of the project after each of the ten chapters. So you can start at any point or skip chapters. In any case, everything is explained as clearly as possible.

No programming with VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is used. The matrix formulas, which are difficult to understand, have also been largely dispensed with, with two exceptions in the last chapter. It is helpful if you already have some experience with Excel formulas.

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Final tournament in Qatar

The tournament starts on Monday, November 21st, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. local time (11:00 a.m. CET) with the opening game in the Al Bayt Stadium.
On Sunday, December 18th, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. local time (4:00 p.m. CET) the tournament will end with the final in the Lusail Stadium.

In order to shorten the tournament time, four games per day are played in the group stage. They start at 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time. According to CET (Central European Time) these are the times 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Since it is winter time, the temperatures are still pleasant during the day. In summer, on the other hand, temperatures of up to 50°C can occur during the day. For this reason the tournament was postponed to winter time.

The distance between the stadiums is so short that it is theoretically possible for fans to attend several games a day. In the round of 16 and quarter-finals, two games per day will be played (6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. local time respectively 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. CET), in the semi-finals and the two finals only one game per day.

More information of the FIFA about the hint arrow final competition:

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Rules for qualifying for the round of 16

The first and second in every group qualify for the round of 16.

In contrast to the UEFA European Championship, the direct comparison has no priority over goal difference and the number of goals scored. A direct comparison is only used if the points, goal difference and number of goals scored are equal. If the direct comparison does not bring a decision either, the minus points of the fair play rating are compared. If there is also a tie, the lot decides.

In summary, the criteria for determining the order of precedence within a group are:

  1. Score from all group matches
  2. Goal difference from all group matches
  3. Number of goals scored in all group matches
  4. Score from the direct encounters between the teams in question
  5. Goal difference from the direct encounters between the teams in question
  6. Number of goals scored from direct encounters between the teams in question
  7. Fair play scoring based on yellow and red cards received in all group matches
    • yellow card = 1 point
    • yellow-red card = 3 points
    • red card = 4 points
    • yellow and red card = 5 points
  8. Drawing of lots

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Qualifying round

The last matchday of the World Cup qualifying round was 16.11.2021. In the 10 groups, the group winners qualified for the World Cup in Qatar. The runners-up in the groups still have the chance to qualify retrospectively via the Play-offs.

Table of the group winners and runners-up:

Grp. Group winner
(Play-off participant)
A Serbia Portugal
B Spain Sweden
C Switzerland Italy
D France Ukraine
E Belgium Wales
F Denmark Scotland
G Netherlands Turkey
H Croatia Russia
I England Poland
J Germany North Macedonia

In the Play-Offs on March 24 and March 29, 2022 it will be decided who will be among the 13 European tournament participants apart from the 10 group first. In the play-offs, the 10 runners-up and the two best teams in the UEFA Nations League that have not yet qualified will fight for the last three tickets to Qatar.

In the UEFA Nations League there is a ranking of the last tournament. The first 14 places are occupied by the group winners of the 4 leagues. Since the 4 group winners of League A (France, Spain, Italy, Belgium) have already qualified or are play-off participants, the next group to look at are the group winners of League B. Wales are already play-off participants. Therefore, the next two - Austria and Czechia - get a turn. They are the two teams that go into the play-offs with the 10 group runners-up (March 2022).

More information about FIFA Qualifiers:
FIFA Qualifiers
Wiki (all confederations)
Wiki (all groups of UEFA)

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Too bad! - Italy and Portugal will not both participate in the World Cup! They will fight against each other in the play-offs for the World Cup participation.

The draw for the play-offs to determine the last three UEFA World Cup participants took place on 26.11.2021. In each of three groups of four, two semifinals and one final will be played. The three final winners will take part in the World Cup.

The following matches were drawn:

Way A:

Semifinal 1:    Scotland - Ukraine
Semifinal 2:    Wales - Austria
The winner of the semi-final 2 has home right in the final.

Way B:

Semifinal 1:    Russia - Poland
Semifinal 2:    Sweden - Czechia
The winner of the semi-final 1 has home right in the final.

Way C:

Semifinal 1:    Italy - North Macedonia
Semifinal 2:    Portugal - Turkey
The winner of the semi-final 2 has home right in the final.

The six semifinals will take place on March 24, 2022, and the three finals on March 29, 2022.

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The 32 teams for the finals in Qatar

Where do the 32 teams for the finals come from? - How are they determined?

Many nations around the world have a national football association. Most of these associations are members of the FIFA.

In addition, these national associations have merged to form six continental associations:

For the final tournament in Qatar in 2022, FIFA has allocated a certain number of starting places to each of these continental associations:

AFC 4,5
OFC 0,5

Four half places means that one team from each of the four continental associations CONMEBOL, AFC, CONCACAF and OFC will take part in intercontinental Play Offs. Each of the four teams has a first and a second leg. The two winners will qualify for the finals in Qatar.

At fixed starting places we have: 13 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 5 + 0 = 29
Then there are the two winners from the intercontinental Play Offs. That means 31 starting places. The last remaining place is for the host country Qatar, which is taking part in the qualifying games almost out of competition.

Each continental association is responsible for organizing the way in which the candidates for the starting places allocated by FIFA are determined. In UEFA there is a group phase and then the Play Offs, in CONMEBOL only one group phase, in CAF and AFC two qualifying rounds each, and in CONCACAF even three qualifying rounds. A qualification tournament will take place in the OFC, in which the participant in the intercontinental Play Offs will be determined.

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The topic 'Direct Comparison'

On this subject, many people first think only of the direct comparison between two teams. Here the matter is clear and simple: Whoever has won the direct encounter is the better team in this direct comparison. In the case of a draw, the direct comparison does not lead to a decision.

It is no longer so clear and simple when more than two teams are subjected to a direct comparison. Here there are even several different regulations on how these direct comparisons are to be carried out.

In the direct comparison of three teams under UEFA rules, a further direct comparison of the teams indistinguishable in the first comparison may be carried out.
Under FIFA rules, there is no further direct comparison.

Here is an Example:
Let us assume that the following results were achieved within a group:

Germany Italy 4 - 3
Nigeria Mexico 2 - 4
Germany Nigeria 2 - 0
Mexico Italy 1 - 2
Mexico Germany 2 - 1
Italy Nigeria 2 - 0

Then the final standings of the group table are as follows:

Place Team Points Goals
1 Germany 6 7 - 5
2 Italy 6 7 - 5
3 Mexico 6 7 - 5
4 Nigeria 0 2 - 8

According to both FIFA and UEFA rules, there is a direct comparison between the three teams Germany, Italy and Mexico. In this direct comparison, only the matches of these three teams against each other are considered. The direct comparison leads to the following table:

Place Team Points Goals
1 Germany 3 5 - 5
2 Italy 3 5 - 5
3 Mexico 3 3 - 3

Due to the lower number of goals scored, Mexico is in third place. But what about Germany and Italy? They are indistinguishable even in this direct comparison of the three teams.

According to UEFA rules, there would now be another direct comparison between these two teams. Since Germany won 4-3 against Italy, Germany would be in first place. However, there is nothing in FIFA rules about a repeat of the direct comparison. In the event of a tie, the fair-play ranking or the draw of lots decides. Italy could therefore end up in first place through a better fair-play ranking or a draw of lots!


In the FIFA World Cup, a direct comparison only takes place when the teams concerned are tied in points, goal difference and goals scored.
In the UEFA European Championship, on the other hand, a direct comparison takes place even if the teams are tied on points. The direct comparison takes precedence over goal difference and goals scored.

In the example detailed  here, Portugal is ranked 2nd under UEFA rules, but would finish 4th in a FIFA World Cup and would thus be eliminated.

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FIFA World Ranking

How does the FIFA World Ranking come about? - How is the rank actually calculated?

Since August 2018, FIFA calculates the world ranking coefficient according to a new procedure. In the old procedure, an average value was calculated from the match results of a certain period. In the new procedure, the playing strength of a team is indicated by a so-called ELO rating, similar to chess. (Arpan Elo had developed this method of calculating playing strength for the American Chess Federation in 1960). This ELO rating determines the rank in the FIFA world rankings.

The ELO rating of a team changes after each international match. Friendly matches are far less important than, for example, group matches in the World Cup finals. The strength of the opponent also plays a major role in the recalculation. A win against a strong opponent improves the ELO number significantly more than a win against a weak opponent.
Detailed explanation of the calculation of the ELO number (with Online Calculator)

And here you have a look to the current FIFA rankings.

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Outlook for the 2026 World Cup in USA/Canada/Mexico

On 10.01.2017, FIFA decided in a vote that from the 2026 World Cup in USA/Canada/Mexico 48 teams will participate in the finals instead of 32 as before.

In the group phase, there will be 16 groups of three instead of 8 groups of four. In each group of three, 3 matches will be played. From each group of three, the first and second place qualify for the knockout round.

In the knockout round, there is an additional round of 32 with 16 knockout matches.

The number of group matches does not change (16 times 3 instead of 8 times 6). The additional round of 32 increase the total number of matches from 64 to 80.

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Tournament schedule for a maximum of 9 participants

If you are interested in an automatic Excel tournament schedule for a maximum of 9 participants, you can download it  Hinweispfeil here  (free use, all Excel worksheets can be viewed).

Everyone plays against everyone - optionally with or without return matches.

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Additional Information


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