How Long Do Soccer Tournaments Last – Full List

Ever wondered why some soccer tournaments seem to stretch on forever while others are over in a flash? You’re not alone.

The duration of soccer tournaments can be as varied as the teams that compete, leaving fans and players alike scratching their heads. But don’t worry, we’ve got the answers you’re looking for.

Whether it’s the World Cup or a local league, we’ll break down the factors that determine how long these events last, so you can plan your soccer-filled days better

Factors That Affect Duration

Consider this – a soccer tournament’s duration isn’t as simple as it may appear. It’s not just about what transpires on the pitch.

One of the main elements affecting the length of the tournament is the number of teams involved. More participants result in more games, which naturally extends the event.

The structure of the tournament is also crucial: knockout stages are faster because they eliminate squads at each round, but formats like round-robin or league systems necessitate that each team competes against all the others, leading to a longer tournament.

Unpredictable weather conditions can also throw a wrench in tournament schedules. For instance, matches may be delayed due to rain, extending the tournament’s duration.

Think back to the 2014 Cup game between Mexico and Cameroon that was postponed because of a tropical downpour!

Rest days are another important factor that influences the tournament’s length. Athletes require these breaks to recuperate both physically and mentally before their next match. Certain minimum rest periods between games are required by FIFA regulations.

The availability of the host venues also plays a part in determining the length of a tournament, as it can impact scheduling decisions.

FIFA Tournaments and Their Durations

You must be interested in knowing how long FIFA tournaments last, right? The time frame can change based on various factors such as the number of teams participating, the scheduling of matches, and the inclusion of knockout stages.

Here is a table to provide you with a quick understanding:

World Cup32Approximately 1 month
Women’s World Cup24Approximately 1 month
Club World Cup7-8 (different each year)Roughly 2 weeks

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious tournament with participation from 32 teams internationally. It generally lasts for about a month.

The Women’s World Cup, which includes 24 teams, also runs for about a month. On the contrary, the FIFA Club World Cup, which consists of seven to eight clubs, lasts for a shorter period of approximately two weeks.

It’s important to note that these timings do not include any pre-tournament training camps or post-tournament celebrations!

They only represent the ‘official’ time frame of matches in FIFA-sanctioned tournaments. So, the next time you plan to closely follow a FIFA tournament, ensure your calendar is accurately marked!

UEFA Tournaments: A Closer Look

Transitioning our focus to UEFA tournaments, an arresting assortment of matches awaits to satiate your football adoration. Now, let’s examine the exhilarating sphere of European football.

It’s common knowledge that UEFA orchestrates some of the most revered and closely followed football tournaments on a global scale. To gain a better understanding of these competitions, consider these key points:

  • The UEFA Champions League, often considered the most prized possession in European club football, usually takes place from June or July until late May of the following year.
  • For those who cherish stories of the unexpected victor, the suspense-filled knockout rounds of the UEFA Europa League are unparalleled.
  • Every two years, fans are treated to the UEFA European Championship – a month-long celebration of Europe’s premier national teams.
  • The recently launched UEFA Nations League should not be discounted; it has been injecting a novel spin into international football since 2018.
  • For those passionate about youth development in football, watching future football stars at Under-17 and Under-19 Euro tournaments offers a pure delight.

The fervor and intensity these events encapsulate not only evoke emotions, but also generate memorable narratives.

So, sit back and let yourself become engrossed in the captivating spectacle that is UEFA football!

North American Soccer Tournaments

Now, let’s shift our focus towards the exciting domain of North American soccer tournaments. You may find it intriguing that these competitions, much like their European equivalents, adhere to a strict timetable and framework.

A key league to note is Major League Soccer (MLS). The MLS season spans from March through October, with each team participating in 34 games.

However, it’s not always a smooth ride; the rivalry is intense, with only 14 teams securing a spot in the November playoffs for a chance at victory.

Then there’s the celebrated U.S Open Cup, the longest running soccer tournament in America. Teams from various levels of American soccer battle it out in this knockout tournament.

This year-round event generates edge-of-your-seat excitement as games are held from spring to fall.

Don’t overlook the CONCACAF Champions League, where elite teams from North and Central America cross paths. With games scattered throughout the year, fans eagerly look forward to each round.

In short, North American soccer is not a sprint, but rather a marathon. Whether it’s local rivalries or continental clashes, every game presents an opportunity to make history – for both clubs and players.

African Soccer Tournaments

Engaging with African soccer will lead you to exciting contests that position this continent as a hub for the sport. The blend of unrefined skill, ardent supporters, and fervent rivalries is simply captivating.

  • The African Cup of Nations (AFCON): This twice-a-year event lasts around a month, including 24 teams. It’s an opportunity for new stars to emerge and for legends to reinforce their status.
  • The CAF Champions League: This club contest stretches almost the entire year, representing the apex of African club soccer.
  • The COSAFA Cup: A two-week-long event featuring teams from Southern Africa. It’s more than just claiming victory; it’s about asserting regional supremacy.
  • The CECAFA Cup: East Africa’s top tournament lasts approximately two weeks, exhibiting emerging talents in a region often disregarded in international soccer.
  • The WAFU Cup of Nations: A yearly West-African face-off lasting about two weeks to decide who reigns in this soccer-passionate region.

As you get more involved with these tournaments, you’ll start to appreciate the deep pool of skill on display and comprehend why Africa is such a vital contributor to international soccer.

Asian Soccer Tournaments

When you engage with Asian football tournaments, you’ll experience a variety of teams and styles that mirror the continent’s rich cultural diversity.

The AFC Asian Cup, the main event, has been held every four years since 1956. The competition spans about a month, featuring 24 teams that battle through a series of knockout stages after an initial round-robin.

Another key competition is the AFC Champions League, an annual club event akin to Europe’s UEFA Champions League.

Teams compete over several months in various phases: group stage, round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. This should not be mistaken for the biennial AFF Suzuki Cup among Southeast Asian nations, which usually transpires over a few weeks.

Not to forget the SAFF Championship for South Asian countries, which takes place every two years and typically lasts for about ten days.

Each competition has its unique appeal and hurdles – from diverse playing styles to varying weather conditions that can challenge even the most skilled players.

Grasping these tournaments’ duration can help you predict their rhythm and flow—vital knowledge for any football fan keen on understanding Asia’s dynamic soccer scene.

South American Soccer Tournaments

South American football boasts a rich cultural diversity and a fervent competitive spirit. Soccer here is not just a game; it forms the core of life, intricately interwoven into the social tapestry.

South America is famed for its high-energy tournaments brimming with passion. The Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana stand as prime examples.

These competitions consume months to conclude due to their knockout round structure and the extensive geographical distances teams often traverse.

To comprehend how deeply soccer influences South Americans emotionally, consider these instances:

  • Maracanazo: Brazil’s unanticipated home defeat to Uruguay in 1950 still leaves a bitter taste today.
  • Boca Juniors vs River Plate: This rivalry goes beyond sport; it creates family divisions and shapes identities.
  • Santos FC: The club where Pelé spent nearly his entire professional career.
  • Argentinian Football: The birthplace of stars like Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.
  • The Amazon Rainforest Stadium: A symbol of soccer’s influence, reaching even into remote areas.

With every match that is played, history is rewritten. Be it local derbies or continental championships, South American football possesses an irresistible allure.

These matches are not only battles of skills, but also clashes of cultures – passionate displays of national pride on the international stage.


So, you’ve traveled through the duration of the top global soccer tournaments. Impressively, the FIFA World Cup, considered the most popular among them, spans across an entire month!

It’s fascinating how much activity occurs behind those 90-minute matches. From UEFA to Copa America, each tournament exhibits a unique fusion of culture and competition.

Appreciating soccer goes beyond just understanding the rules; it’s about valuing its rich history and wide-reaching global impact too.

Manuel Esposito

Hello everyone! My name is Manuel and I've recently got my PhD in Sport and Excercise Science at the University of Portsmouth. I'm raised and born in New York, and I've been a big fan of soccer my whole life. Soccer is the reason why I got my PhD in Sport and Excercise Science, and my goal with this blog is to help you improve your soccer techniques, strategies, and knowledge!

Press ESC to close