Here’s where to see it potentially come home
There’s a FIFA World Cup on the horizon, but it’s not going to be like the ones you’ve experienced before.
Qatar 2022 will be the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world and only the second to be played in Asia. Taking place from 20 November to 18 December it’s also set to be the first World Cup ever not to be played in either May, June or July.
Played over a reduced timeframe of 29 days, games will kick off at 10am, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm and 7pm in the United Kingdom. If you’re a millennial, this may well bring back fond memories of watching the 2002 World Cup (held jointly by South Korea and Japan) in your school sports hall. The early morning kick-offs are phased out after the group stages, with the knockout rounds a mixture of 3pm and 7pm kick-off times.
Ecuador versus Qatar will be the opening match (Sunday 20 November, 4pm) whilst England’s opening group games are Iran (Monday 21 November, 1pm), USA (Friday 25 November, 7pm) and Wales (Tuesday 29 November, 7pm). The final will be held on Sunday December 18 at 3pm.
With regards to the vibe, it’s going to be a strange one. Will throwing beer in the air be as fun when it’s freezing cold outside? Will a lack of sunshine (this side of the TV at least) sap a bit of energy out of the whole thing? Will it be too hot over there for Southgate to wear a waistcoat? Will the tournament’s notable controversies surrounding corruption and human rights breaches rise to the fore? Serious questions to be answered.
In terms of watching the tournament, owing to it being screened on terrestrial TV (BBC and ITV), you’ll probably struggle for places that aren’t showing it. That said, football, when not enjoyed live at the ground, is best served on a large screen amongst a lively crowd. So with that in mind, here’s some inspiration as to where to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Manchester.
You can always count on Brotherhood when it comes to watching sport on TV. Plenty of screens upstairs, plenty of room and screens downstairs for larger groups. If you’ve got a football-minded office, it’s probably a good shout for an office Christmas party with food and drink packages now available to book - two birds, one stone. Brotherhood is definitely one to consider for those 1pm and 3pm kick-offs too, especially with a burger and pint lunch deal (£8.50) that runs until 5pm.
2 Mount St, Manchester M2 5WQ
If you like your atmosphere raucous and you’re not allergic to students, Courtyard is always a good spot for watching footy on the big screen. Cheap drinks, big personality. The World Cup will be no different. A 250+ capacity beer garden, outdoor heating and cocktail bar (ideal in the winter), plenty of massive screens and there’s always the potential for a barbecue. If anywhere is going to keep to outdoor lager flinging traditions, rain or shine, it’s Courtyard. Get there early on a match day, there tends to be a queue.
2 Chester St, Manchester M1 5SH
Another one worth booking ahead, The Director’s Box has already opened its December food and drink packages up for bookings. You can bet there’ll be football too. Plenty of screens spread around the place ensuring a great view of the match wherever you’re sat. There’s plenty of food and drink offers to get stuck into too, be it burger, fries and a drink for £11.50 or pizza and a drink for £12. Plenty of booze deals for celebrating or washing away sorrows, come what may.
37 Booth St, Manchester M2 4AA
Have you ever heard the song Carnaval de Paris by Dario G? Get it up on Youtube, you’ll recognise it. Anyway, if Escape to Freight Island’s football offering for the World Cup was a song, it’d be that. Real balls to the wall festival vibes. Not one but three fan zones (big fan zone, dedicated pub zone and family fun zone), loads of Camden Town Brewery beers and entertainment surrounding and midway through the match. Everything from special guests to brass bands. Tickets are free and available to book now.
11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PZ
If you like your World Cup with a sprinkling of Joleon Lescott and Wes Brown, get yourself booked in for the For The Fans fan park in Trafford. It sold out for the Euros and it’s more than likely it’ll be equally popular this time round. Promising “huge screens, world class sound, DJs and special effects”, there’s plenty of ticket options from standard general admission to VIP areas. If you want to be pictured on TV news amid a mist of lager, this is probably the one.
Soccer Dome, Trafford Way, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M17 8DD
They pride themselves on being one of the friendliest places to watch sport, do GRUB. So if you’re after somewhere a bit less raucous but no less fun, head over to Red Bank. GRUB’s trademark array of streetfood stands and locally-sourced booze make for the perfect pairing with the beautiful game. There’s plenty of places inside to watch too. Chapeltown Picture House’s 100 seater cinema, The Hall for groups of 5-10 for a more relaxed watch and the basement bar for groups of 4 or below, with over 20 beer lines on. Beer so good you wouldn’t dare throw it.
50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M4 4HF
Good news music fans, Jimmy’s is showing the England games upstairs in both its Manchester and Liverpool venues on a 9 x 12ft projector. The subsequent screen will be nine inches taller than the world’s current tallest man (Sultan Kösen, 8 ft 3), how’s that for size? Limited tickets are now available to book online with a free pint for each of your party upon arrival with every table ticket purchased. England games only. Let’s hope for a good run to the final.
27 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
It’s time to put the guns down and leave the shooting to the lads on the screen. Point Blank is utilising its big old 132 inch screens for the football giving you the chance to watch our boys kicking it in the goal hole in subterranean comfort. The £8 lunch club deal will appeal to those who want to catch the midday kick-offs (12-4pm) and special food and drinks packages for groups of over eight will certainly suffice for Christmas parties.
Basement, 78, Deansgate, Manchester M3 2FW
You might think that when Pen & Pencil say they’re showing every game that they mean every England game. No, dear reader and football fan. When The Pen & Pencil says it is showing every game it means it will be showing every single game of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. No easy feat considering the timings of games but what a journey that could be. Brunch, lunch and dinner, football with every meal. 50% off on Mondays with a booking. You know the deal by now.
Fourways House, 57 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EJ
Image: 4 The Fans
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