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The attention of soccer fans around the globe will soon be focused on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

The attention of soccer fans around the globe will soon be focused on the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar. (Christopher Pike/Bloomberg)

Soccer fans with access to American Forces Network programming can now relax. At least until the action starts.

As is often the case with high-profile sporting events, it came down to the wire. But AFN has received permission to broadcast World Cup matches from Qatar.

Matches will air on the AFN|Sports and AFN|Sports2 channels, said Chris Vadnais, deputy director of Defense Media Activity Atlantic/AFN Europe in an email Sunday. Some matches will be broadcast live and others could be broadcast on a tape-delay, he said.

The event, which has drawn controversy from the moment it was awarded by FIFA, kicks off with the host nation playing against Ecuador at 5 p.m. Sunday in Europe/1 a.m. Monday in Japan and Korea. It’s scheduled to air on AFN Sports2.

The United States takes on Wales in its first game at 8 p.m. Monday in Europe and 4 a.m. Tuesday in the Pacific. The Americans are then set to face England on Friday and end the opening round against Iran on Nov. 29. The U.S. might have to win at least two of the three matches to move into the second round.

Unlike spectators attending the event, AFN viewers should be allowed to consume alcohol while watching the games – at least if they’re not on duty.

Staff writers Jennifer H. Svan and Dave Ornauer contributed to this report.

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Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.

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