• From Left Akram Afif of Qatar, Salem Al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia and Omar Abdulrahman of UAE (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Football fans will get their first taste of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar when the country hosts the FIFA Arab Cup this December, with SBS to bring you the semi-finals and finals LIVE, FREE and EXCLUSIVE.

WATCH extended 2021 FIFA Arab Cup daily highlights from December 1-19 via SBS On Demand, plus LIVE, FREE and EXCLUSIVE coverage of the semi-finals and final on SBS and SBS On Demand from December 16.

The tournament features the Middle East’s top 16 national teams and will act as a test run for the World Cup.

It replaces the traditional World Cup warm-up event, the FIFA Confederations Cup, with matches taking place at six of the seven stadiums which will host World Cup matches in 2022.

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Football fans will get their first taste of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar when the country hosts the FIFA Arab Cup this December.

It will also take place in December during a similar timeslot as the World Cup, with the first matches scheduled for December 1 (AEDT).

The 2021 Arab Cup is the 10th edition of the tournament but the first to be held since 2012.

The tournament will consist of a group stage and knockout rounds, as the 16 teams will be split into four groups of four, with the top two from each progressing to the quarter-finals.

SBS will be broadcasting the semi-finals and final of the Arab Cup LIVE and FREE, with highlights and replays of the matches available via SBS On Demand.

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Daily extended highlights will also be available via SBS On Demand from the start of the tournament.

Socceroos' World Cup qualifying rivals Saudi Arabia and Oman will take part in the Arab Cup, alongside fellow AFC teams Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and hosts Qatar.

African powerhouse Egypt will also take part, as well as Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia.

Players to watch out for include Qatari superstar Akram Afif, Saudi Arabian playmaker Salem Al-Dawsari and the mercurial Omar Abdulrahman of the UAE, who Aussie fans will remember from his brilliant displays during the 2015 Asian Cup.

2021 FIFA Arab Cup on SBS and SBS On Demand - LIVE schedule

Arab Cup semi-finals
Thursday, December 16

Semi-final 1
1:30am (AEDT) – 4:00am (AEDT)

Semi-final 2
5:30am (AEDT) – 8:00am (AEDT)

Arab Cup final
Sunday, December 19
1:30am (AEDT) – 4:30 am (AEDT)