How to Watch the FIFA World Cup Online for Free!

Soccer player on a screen holding the FIFA World Cup trophy and cheering
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A Quick Guide: Watch the FIFA World Cup for Free Online

The 2022 FIFA World Cup takes place in Qatar, and organizers have pushed the start date back to November 21, 2022, to counter the brutal desert heat in spring and summer. Looking to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup for free online? You’ve found the right place.

While there are a lot of free online FIFA streams, they’re not all available worldwide. Still, you can get access if you follow these steps:

  1. Create a VPN account. We recommend NordVPN for streaming live sports.
  2. Download and install the VPN software on your device.
  3. Connect to a server in a country where the stream you wish to watch is available. If you want our free recommendation, go for a server in the UK. Wait a few seconds once you’re connected.
  4. Navigate to the BBC iPlayer website to live stream the 2022 FIFA World Cup for free. You’ll need to sign up and register for a free account, which non-citizens can easily do.

We’ve got lots of other streaming options available, more information about VPNs, and a more detailed step-by-step plan to help you watch the World Cup. Just keeping reading on below!

The excitement for the 2022 FIFA World Cup has been bubbling over for some time now. After all, four years is a long time to wait for what could be the world’s most-watched sporting event. We’ve had to wait a few extra months already, as the World Cup is being played in Qatar — the tourney’s first time in an Arab country.

Thanks to sweltering Middle Eastern heat, our normal May start time has been pushed back to November 21, 2022, with the World Cup Final slated for December 18, 2022. Regardless, once wintertime in the Northern Hemisphere rears its head, football (or soccer) fans from all nations will have to wait no more!

Even with its massive global popularity, many people will find themselves unable to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup. For example, maybe a newly-minted remote worker from the USA can’t access her home streaming service in Costa Rica. Or a backpacker from the UK wants to find a free online stream from his hostel in Thailand.

Luckily, there are some easy solutions to these scenarios. The most useful one is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Below, we’ll show you how to use one to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup for free wherever you are in the world using this online tool.

How to Watch the FIFA World Cup Online All Over the World

Watch football tournament iconIf you’re aching to watch a FIFA World Cup match, but you’re unsure how to go about it, there are three things you can do.

  • Use a (local) online stream. Chances are, the country you’re in broadcasts World Cup matches via an online stream. Whether you’re on holiday or at home, you might be able to find a free stream to watch the FIFA match on. Have a look at our list of streams later on in this article to find one that’ll work for you!
  • Watch via local television. Aside from online streams, many networks also broadcast FIFA matches on local channels. Some examples are Sky Sport in Germany, BBC and ITV in the UK, and Fox in the US. Chances are, you might be able to see the match live by simply turning on your TV or going to a local pub.
  • Use a stream from a different country with a VPN. Sometimes the right FIFA streams aren’t available in your location. This might be the case when you have a running subscription for a service, but are abroad and don’t have access to it. In these situations, a VPN can help you access your usual streams or even free streams in a different country. Using a VPN is easy and probably the most universally useful solution.

When Do You Need a VPN to Watch the World Cup?

Countless networks and online streams all over the world show the FIFA World Cup matches live. However, not everyone has access to all of those options. Due to licensing, each network only holds the right to show matches in specific locations.

This means that your ability to view streams depends on your location. A VPN can help you get around the geographical restrictions that result from this.

There are several situations in which you might need a VPN to watch FIFA World Cup matches. These are the most common ones:

  • You’re in a country that doesn’t have the broadcasting rights for the game you want to watch.
  • You’re in a place where football streams are blocked entirely.
  • You want to watch a match with commentary in a specific language.

How to Watch World Cup Matches Live with a VPN: Step-By-Step Guide

If you’re in one of the aforementioned situations and want to watch FIFA, you’ll have to get a VPN, install the software, and choose the right server location. Complicated? Not at all. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide that’ll take just a couple of minutes.

Install VPN Step by Step Desktop

  1. Choose a good VPN provider and create an account on their website. For watching the World Cup live, we recommend NordVPN. This VPN is relatively cheap, great for streaming, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee that can give you a free month of VPN use.
  2. NordVPN
    Our pick
    Our pick
    Only $2.98 a month for a two-year subscription with a 30-day money-back guarantee!
    • Excellent protection and a large network of servers
    • Nice and pleasing application
    • No logs
    Visit NordVPN
  3. Download your chosen VPN’s software from their website on your computer or smartphone. Would you like to watch on your smart TV or a different device? Check out our setup section for specific instructions per device, or install a VPN on your router to cover all bases.
  4. Install the VPN software. Most providers have an installation wizard that will do all the work for you.
  5. Open the VPN app and log in with the account you created in step 1.
  6. Connect to a VPN server in the country where your World Cup stream is based. If you need a recommendation, connect to a server in the UK so you can watch the World Cup for free on the BBC iPlayer. Click “Connect” and then wait a few seconds.
  7.  Go to the BBC iPlayer website. Now, you can simply go to the stream you wish to watch and press play. If you haven’t set up an account yet, it’s a breeze. Just check our guide on accessing the BBC iPlayer from outside the UK.

You’ll now have access to the streams of your choice as if you were in the country of your VPN server. With the VPNs suggested in this article, you shouldn’t run into any problems, as long as you choose the right server location. However, if it doesn’t work, you can always try to connect to a different server on the same location or delete your browser’s cookies before trying again.

Channels and Streams that Broadcast the FIFA World Cup

There are many sports channels all over the world that broadcast the FIFA World Cup for free. Now that you’ve got a VPN, you can access plenty of them. Depending on which language you’d like to watch the match in, there are countless streams that can help you out. Here are a couple of well-known ones, including free options, that might be of use to you.

AlbaniaRTSHLive StreamNone
AustriaServus TVLive StreamNone
AustraliaSBS.comLive StreamSign-up and registration
ItalyRaiplay.itLive StreamSign-up and registration
LuxembourgRTLLive StreamNone
Switzerland (Recommended)SRF INFOLive StreamNone
United Kingdom (Recommended)BBC iPlayer
Live StreamEmail, Name, and UK address
United States (via FOX Network)SlingTV
YouTube TV
Hulu + Live TV
DirecTV Stream
Live StreamsSubscription
(Some offer free trials)

Of course, there are many more streams providing either free or paid access to the matches. If you’d like to watch a FIFA game with commentary in a specific language, there are local opportunities that will become available worldwide as long as you use a VPN. Simply find the stream, connect to a VPN server situated in the country where that stream is available, and start streaming.

The Best VPN Providers for Football and the World Cup

In our step-by-step plan, we already recommended a great VPN service. Chances are, you’d rather have some options to choose from. There are plenty of good VPN providers around, as long as you know what to look for. For watching FIFA matches, you’ll want a VPN with:

  • Servers in the country you want to watch the World Cup from (so UK servers for a stream with BBC commentary).
  • A fast and stable connection to make sure that your stream won’t lag or has to buffer.
  • A cheap subscription, so it won’t cost you too much. We have a list of some decent free VPN services, but more often than not these won’t work well for streaming.

Based on these factors, we have three suggestions for you. If you ask us, these are the very best VPN providers to use for streaming football and, specifically, the FIFA World Cup.

1. NordVPN: Quick and stable FIFA streaming

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs in the world – and for good reason. This VPN combines fast servers, stable connections, and great options for streaming. With a server network that stretches over countless countries worldwide, you’ll always be able to find the right location for almost any FIFA stream. On top of that, NordVPN is very easy to use, so even beginning VPN users will be able to find their way quickly. If you like, you can even use NordVPN on your PlayStation, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch by installing it on your router, so you can easily watch each World Cup match on those devices.

NordVPN offers great value for the money you spend, which is why we think it’s the best VPN for FIFA. Don’t forget: you can use their 30-day money-back guarantee to test their service before fully committing to a subscription!

Our pick
Our pick
Only $2.98 a month for a two-year subscription with a 30-day money-back guarantee!
  • Excellent protection and a large network of servers
  • Nice and pleasing application
  • No logs
Visit NordVPN

2. ExpressVPN: Easily watch football online

When it comes to results, ExpressVPN is our absolute favorite VPN provider. They have servers all over the world, which means you can watch the World Cup from practically any country. All ExpressVPN servers are stable and will reach great connection speeds. Their software is highly intuitive, making it easy to set up, and it works on all popular devices and operating systems. This makes ExpressVPN an ideal VPN provider for watching FIFA World Cup games.

The only reason ExpressVPN isn’t our number 1 VPN for World Cup streaming, is its subscription price. ExpressVPN is a relatively expensive provider while other options, including NordVPN, are quite cheap, especially when you get a long-term subscription. However, you can still try out this excellent provider for a limited time without spending any money. If you’re interested in ExpressVPN, we’d advise you to use their money-back guarantee to essentially get a 30-day free trial.

Great discount on annual subscription + 30-day money-back guarantee!
  • Very easy to use VPN
  • Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
Visit ExpressVPN

3. CyberGhost: Cheap access to the World Cup

Just like our numbers one and two, CyberGhost is a great VPN provider that’ll quickly help you stream the World Cup matches. This provider has thousands of servers all over the world and a pretty decent connection speed, although it scores just below NordVPN and ExpressVPN when it comes to long-distance servers. In terms of usability, CyberGhost is a great choice, as its interface is nice to look at and easy to understand. Like NordVPN, it has special options for streaming, which is particularly helpful when trying to watch football.

CyberGhost’s biggest advantage is its low price: it’s the cheapest option in our top three. Although it might not always be as reliable as other premium VPNs, it’s still a fantastic option that’ll help you watch all of your most anticipated matches. CyberGhost, too, offers a money-back guarantee you can use to get a free trial.

Try CyberGhost for $2.29 per month!
  • Very user-friendly
  • High quality for a low price
  • Torrents and Netflix possible
Visit CyberGhost

Disclaimer: Always Check the User Agreement

Before turning on your VPN and using it to watch your favorite FIFA stream, you should always check your user agreement. Some online streams mention VPNs in their terms and conditions. They might say their service isn’t allowed to be used in combination with a VPN connection, for example.

Although VPN use as a whole isn’t considered illegal in most parts of the world (in fact, it’s even encouraged in many Western countries), these user agreements might advise you against connecting to a VPN during streaming. If you do use a VPN, you could be denied access. Therefore, it’s always important to check a stream provider’s official policy and act accordingly.

How Do VPNs Work?

A VPN can help you get around geographical restrictions, allowing you to watch FIFA matches anywhere in the world. To understand how this works, we need to go back to the basics. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) provides you with an encrypted connection to the internet. This means it can give you more online freedom, privacy, and safety.

Because all your data is encrypted, third parties won’t be able to trace what you do online. This helps protect you against hackers, governments, and other curious onlookers. Aside from that, a VPN changes your IP address. When you connect to a VPN server, you take on the IP address of that server, meaning it’ll look as if you’re accessing the internet from that server’s location.

A person connects to the internet and bypasses an online restriction wall due to the VPN

This is why watching FIFA matches on foreign streams with a VPN works: the online streaming service will think you’re in a country where their stream is available and grant you access. A VPN doesn’t just work for football matches. In fact, almost all streams can be accessed worldwide with a VPN. This goes for sports, but also shows, movies, and even some games with limited early access. A lot of people use VPNs to watch the American version of Netflix, for example.

If you want to learn more about VPNs and their possibilities, take a look at our “VPN Explained” article.

2022 FIFA World Cup Calendar

The official FIFA World Cup competition won’t start until late 2022. The tournament will take place from November 21 until  December 18. That’s when the best teams will meet in Qatar to compete. You can find the full schedule and matchups below:

2022 World Cup Group Stage Matches

Here’s the full schedule for the 2022 FIFA World Cup matches.

Group A

Mon, Nov. 21Senegal vs. Netherlands
Mon, Nov. 21Qatar vs. Ecuador
Fri, Nov. 25Qatar vs. Senegal
Fri, Nov. 25Netherlands vs. Ecuador
Tues, Nov. 29Netherlands vs. Qatar
Tues, Nov. 29Ecuador vs. Senegal

Group B

Mon, Nov. 21England vs. Iran
Mon, Nov. 21USA vs. Wales
Fri, Nov. 25Wales vs. Iran
Fri, Nov. 25England vs. USA
Tues, Nov. 29Wales vs. England
Tues, Nov. 29Iran vs. USA

Group C

Tues, Nov. 22Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia
Tues, Nov. 22Mexico vs. Poland
Sat, Nov. 26Poland vs. Saudi Arabia
Sat, Nov. 26Argentina vs. Mexico
Wed, Nov. 30Poland vs. Argentina
Wed, Nov. 30Saudi Arabia vs. Mexico

Group D

Tues, Nov. 22Denmark vs. Tunisia
Tues, Nov. 22France vs. Australia
Sat, Nov. 26Tunisia vs. Australia
Sat, Nov. 26France vs. Denmark
Wed, Nov. 30Tunisia vs. France
Wed, Nov. 30Australia vs. Denmark

Group E

Wed, Nov. 23Germany vs. Japan
Wed, Nov. 23Spain vs. Costa Rica
Sun, Nov. 27Japan vs. Costa Rica
Sun, Nov. 27Spain vs. Germany
Thurs, Dec. 1Japan vs. Spain
Thurs, Dec. 1Costa Rica vs. Germany

Group F

Wed, Nov. 23Morocco vs. Croatia
Wed, Nov. 23Belgium vs. Canada
Sun, Nov. 27Belgium vs. Morocco
Sun, Nov. 27Croatia vs. Canada
Thurs, Dec. 1Croatia vs. Belgium
Thurs, Dec. 1Canada vs. Morocco

Group G

Thurs, Nov. 24Switzerland vs. Cameroon
Thurs, Nov. 24Brazil vs. Serbia
Mon, Nov. 28Cameroon vs. Serbia
Mon, Nov. 28Brazil vs. Switzerland
Fri, Dec. 2Cameroon vs. Brazil
Fri, Dec. 2Serbia vs. Switzerland

Group H

Thurs, Nov. 24Uruguay vs. South Korea
Thurs, Nov. 24Portugal vs. Ghana
Mon, Nov. 28South Korea vs. Ghana
Mon, Nov. 28Portugal vs. Uruguay
Fri, Dec. 2South Korea vs. Portugal
Fri, Dec. 2Ghana vs. Uruguay

World Cup Round of 16

Sat, Dec. 31A vs. 2B
Sat, Dec. 31C vs. 2D
Sun, Dec. 41D vs. 2C
Sun, Dec. 41B vs. 2A
Mon, Dec. 51E vs. 2F
Mon, Dec. 51G vs. 2H
Tues, Dec. 61F vs. 2E
Tues, Dec. 61H vs. 2G

World Cup Quarterfinals

Fri, Dec. 9QF 1: 1E/2F vs. 1G/2H
Fri, Dec. 9QF 2: 1A/2B vs. 1C/2D
Sat, Dec. 10QF 3: 1F/2E vs. 1H/2G
Sat, Dec. 10QF 4: 1B/2A vs. 1D/2C

World Cup Semifinals

Tues, Dec. 13QF 1 vs. QF 2
Wed, Dec. 14QF 3 vs. QF 4

World Cup 3rd Place

Sat, Dec. 17Losers of Semifinals

2022 FIFA World Cup Finals

Sat, Dec. 18Winners of Semifinals

Plenty More Free Sports Streaming Where That Came From

The FIFA World Cup certainly isn’t the only way that a VPN can save you money on sports streaming. If you’re looking to fill the gaps in your watching schedule, you can always tune in for some other events. For football, you might want to check out the Champions League or the UEFA European Championships, for example.

Would you rather watch a different sport? A VPN can also help you watch worldwide events for free, like the Tour de France, Formula 1, and even the Olympics.

Watch the World Cup Worldwide: Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about watching FIFA World Cup matches? We’ve collected the most frequently asked questions about this topic below. Click on a question to see the answer.

The FIFA championships 2022 will be broadcasted on numerous channels and streams all over the world. In most places you’ll be able to find a TV channel or online stream that shows live coverage of the matches. Some online streams are even available for free. If you use a VPN, you can access any of these streams, no matter where you are in the world.

The networks and websites that have bought licenses to broadcast FIFA 2022 matches usually only work in specific countries. This means that, once you go abroad, your usual stream will stop working. Luckily, there’s an easy way around this. Simply use a locally available stream, or use a VPN to get access to your usual live stream anyway.

Yes, there are several online live streams that offer free viewings of some or all FIFA World Cup matches. There are also several paid platforms, like HULU + Live TV in the US, that work with free trials. Most live streams will only allow local access. However, with a VPN you’ll be able to access them no matter where you are in the world. You can read more about different online FIFA streams and how to access them right here.

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs to watch football with. This goes for the FIFA World Cup, as well as for other international competitions, such as the Champions League. NordVPN is known for its stable connections and many possibilities for streaming and unblocking. It’ll allow you to watch almost any stream, no matter where you are.

The next FIFA World Cup will take place in 2022. For now, the final is scheduled for 18 December 2022, with the group phases starting a month earlier on 21 November. Already, the qualifications for the World Cup are ongoing. However, because of the corona crisis, qualifications might have to be further postponed, possibly resulting in a different schedule.

Tech journalist
Tove has been working for VPNoverview since 2017 as a journalist covering cybersecurity and privacy developments. She has broad experience developing rigorous VPN testing procedures and protocols for our VPN review section and has tested dozens of VPNs over the years.