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How often does the World Cup happen? FIFA tournament timing explained

The World Cup is the most anticipated tournament in football, where teams are invited to compete for the ultimate glory of being crowned world champions.

They are always exciting affairs, pitting together the world's very best national sides against one another.

So when do World Cups happen, and how often are they played? Goal takes a look.

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How often does the World Cup takes place?

The World Cup takes place every four years.

This has been the case since its inception in 1930, except in 1942 and 1942 when it was not held due to the Second World War.

The most recent World Cup took place in 2018, where France were crowned winners after defeating Croatia in the final. It is the second World Cup title for Les Bleus.

The next World Cup will take place in the winter of 2022.

Will the World Cup change to a biennial tournament?

There has been speculation that the World Cup will change to a biennial tournament, meaning that it will take place every two years instead of every four.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed the idea, stating that football fans prefer knockout tournaments than qualifying games.

"We guarantee a period of rest after every tournament. Think of it this way: 2026 the World Cup in the USA, Mexico and Canada; 2027 a European Championship and the other continental tournaments; 2028 another World Cup; and so on," he told Kicker.

"The competitions will all remain in place until 2024, and changes can only be made after that.

"More knockout matches, fewer qualifying games. That's what the fans want."

But UEFA figures have been vocal in opposing a biennial tournament, and the Premier League released a statement where all 20 clubs were also against the idea.

"The Premier League is committed to preventing any radical changes to the post-2024 FIFA International Match Calendar that would adversely affect player welfare and threaten the competitiveness, calendar, structures and traditions of domestic football," the statement read.

"We are open to reforms and new ideas, but they must enhance the complementary balance between domestic and international football in order to improve the game at all levels.

"This process should also involve meaningful agreements with the leagues that provide the foundations for the game.

"We will continue to work with supporter groups, players, domestic and international stakeholders to find solutions that are in the best interests of football's long-term future."

What are the dates for World Cup 2022?

The next World Cup will take place in Qatar from November 21–December 18, 2022.