How and when to watch football World Cup matches on Italian TV

Whether you plan on watching the games from the comfort of your home or in the company of other football fans, here’s all you need to know about catching the World Cup matches on Italian TV.

Football fan in front of TV
RAI, Italy’s public broadcaster, will air all World Cup matches, from the group stages right to the tournament’s December 18th final. Photo by Miguel ROJO / AFP

After months of back-to-back controversies and scandals, The 2022 Qatar World Cup kicked off on Sunday, November 20th. 

Matches will be played until Sunday, December 18th – the day of the final – at 11am, 2pm, 4pm, 5pm or 8pm Italian time.

So how can football fans catch the games in Italy?

There are a number of options available, starting with watching the games on Italian television.

RAI, Italy’s public broadcaster, will air all World Cup matches – from the group stages right to the tournament’s final – with games being broadcast on Rai1, Rai2, Rai3 or RaiSport (channel 57). 

The above channels are available on all Italian TVs and viewing is free of charge. 

England fans celebrating a goal

Those looking to watch the games in the company of fellow football fans may be able to do so at their local sports bar. Photo by Justin TALLIS / AFP

For those who might not have access to a TV, games will also be available on RAI’s streaming platform, RaiPlay, which can be accessed online at the following link or through the RaiPlay mobile app. 

Viewing will be free of charge, though users will be required to create their own RaiPlay account first.

It’s worth noting that, for the first time since 2002, RAI owns exclusive rights to the World Cup, which means that no other broadcaster (Sky, DAZN, Prime, etc.) will be able to air the matches.

RAI’s full group stage schedule can be found at the end of this article.

With that being said, World Cup tournaments aren’t just about football games. They’re also about sharing good and bad moments with other fans and being part of a wider football community.

If you’d rather watch the games in the company of locals or, perhaps, some of your fellow countrymen, your best bet would be to head down to your local sports bar.

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It goes almost without saying that there’s no shortage of bars broadcasting football matches in Italy, with even the smallest villages having at least one such venue.

So, we hope you enjoy the World Cup and may the best team win!

Round of 16’s TV schedule:

Saturday, December 3rd

4pm – Netherlands-USA – Rai1, RaiPlay

8pm – Argentina-Australia – Rai 1, RaiPlay

Sunday, December 4th

4pm – France-Poland – Rai1, RaiPlay

8pm – England-Senegal – Rai1, RaiPlay

Monday, December 5th

4pm – Japan-Croatia – Rai1, RaiPlay

8pm – Brazil-South Korea – Rai1, RaiPlay

Tuesday, December 6th

4pm – Morocco-Spain – Rai1, RaiPlay

8pm – Portugal-Switzerland – Rai1, RaiPlay

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Italian police probe football clubs over false visas for young African players

Italian police are investigating football clubs for allegedly getting young African players false papers in a probe that could involve Serie A teams, national media reported on Thursday.

Italian police probe football clubs over false visas for young African players
File photo of Italian police cars: Andreas Solaro/AFP

The inquiry centres on AC Prato, which plays in the Lega Pro league, amid suspicions managers “favoured the illegal entry into Italy of African minors, some of whom were then sold to superior clubs,” the Gazzetta dello Sport said.

The daily said the offices of two unnamed Serie A teams and one Serie B team had been searched as part of the probe, but added that the teams were believed to have bought the players without knowing about the fraud.

Managers in Prato are also suspected of match-fixing, the reports said. Four people including two of the mangers were placed in preventative detention by police on Thursday.

The Lega Pro is the third professional division, below Serie A and B.

Police suspect those held of having helped young Africans, mainly Ivorians, to obtain false papers or fraudulent family reconciliation visas.

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