Football World Cup Is Set to Kick Off in Qatar. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is officially underway, and football fans look forward to watching some of the world’s best soccer players compete against each other. FIFA 2022 started on Nov. 21 and will run until Dec. 18, about five months later than usual to avoid the scorching heat of the country.
Here’s everything you need to know about the quadrennial event.
The tournament will be the second to be held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan. The announcement of the hosts for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was initially scheduled to take place at the FIFA Congress on 2 December 2010 in Zurich but was postponed to 6 December due to the late withdrawal of one of the nine bidders, Japan. Qatar emerged as the surprise winner ahead of the other bids, which included the United States, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.
Despite the criticism, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has defended the decision to award the World Cup to Qatar, stating that the country “deserves” to host the tournament. The decision to award the World Cup to Qatar came under criticism from a number of sources, with many arguing that the country did not have the necessary infrastructure in place to host the tournament.
Others have raised concerns about the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar, with Amnesty International releasing a report in 2013 detailing the conditions faced by workers in the country. Despite all the criticism, the games have officially begun in Doha.
This year will mark the first time a Middle Eastern country has hosted the World Cup.
The tournament will take place in eight stadiums across Qatar: Al-Rayyan Stadium (Doha), Khalifa International Stadium (Doha), Lusail Sports Complex (Lusail), Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi), King Fahad International Stadium (Abu Dhabi), Mesaieed Sports City Stadiums Complex (Doha)and Al-Wakrah International Football Stadium (Sultanate).
The Qatari government has spent billions of dollars to get ready, including building eight soccer stadiums that can all be air-conditioned to cool fans, refs, and players during the hot summer months.
Qatar is spending an estimated $200 billion on its 2022 World Cup, which is more than 10 times what Russia spent in 2018 to host the event. The money will go towards building stadiums and other infrastructure for the tournament, but it also comes with accusations of bribery and corruption. In a piece for The Guardian last year, journalist Juan Zarate wrote about how Qatar has become a “risky bet” for FIFA because of its poor track record when it comes to human rights abuses.
After winning the bid — starting with a campaign called “Expect Amazing” — organizers were accused of bribery and other irregularities by former FIFA vice president Jack Warner. He later said he was only joking and that he had been paid off by the South African 2010 World Cup organizers — not Qatar.
Which countries are in the World Cup?
Below are the 32 teams making up the 2022 tournament field:
- Group A: Ecuador, Netherlands, Qatar, Senegal
- Group B: England, Iran, United States, Wales
- Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia
- Group D: Australia, Denmark, France, Tunisia
- Group E: Costa Rica, Germany, Japan, Spain
- Group F: Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Morocco
- Group G: Brazil, Cameroon, Serbia, Switzerland
- Group H: Ghana, South Korea, Portugal, Uruguay
Favorite Teams of The Football Tournament?
What’s your favorite team to root for? If you’re like most people, you probably support a European squad. But if you want to get a little more adventurous, consider some of the teams outside Europe that could surprise you in this year’s World Cup.
France is considered a tournament favorite alongside Brazil, England, and Argentina. Beyond Brazil and Argentina, oddsmakers largely favor European teams, including Spain, Germany, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
Look beyond the top 10 favorites to find long shots outside Europe, where Uruguay, Senegal, and the United States see lesser odds.
How is this event different from other previous FIFAs?
This is the first time an Arab country has won the bid to host the most prestigious event in the world. Qatar is a very rich country but quite small in size. This raised some concerns and doubts if the country would be able to hold security and maintenance for such a large crowd. But as it turns out, the small size of the country has done nothing to contain the ambition it has. Considering the huge investment, it has made in constructing state-of-the-art stadiums, and that too in record time.
The World Cup’s host country has a reputation for being the friendliest place in the world, but that reputation is about to be put to the test. While hosting the World Cup may be an opportunity for Qatar to show off its neighborly spirit, it also has a unique challenge: ensuring that every fan has an experience of the unparalleled fan experience at every game.
Ban on Alcohol
Whether it is a concert or a world cup, consumption of alcohol is a must. But Qatar threw a curve ball at fans only two days before the start of the big game.
Organizers said Friday that they would allow beer sales in eight World Cup stadiums, but only for certain hours on certain days. That decision was announced mere days before the tournament’s opening match, to the shock of fans and FIFA alike.
Organizers say that they are doing this because of local laws that prohibit alcohol consumption between noon and 2 p.m. This decision has already set up a tense atmosphere around alcohol consumption during World Cup matches this month, especially since some fans are upset that they won’t be able to enjoy it in public areas where they’re allowed to drink before or after games.
Issue of LGBTQ+ Fans
The about-face raised new questions about whether everyone — particularly LGBTQ+ fans — will face the kind of welcome that Qatar’s organizing committee and FIFA have consistently guaranteed.
In public, closeness is offensive regardless of sexual orientation or gender and homosexuality is against the law in Qatar. According to the World Cup host, there won’t be any rules prohibiting friends or unmarried couples from sharing a hotel room, who also emphasized that everyone is welcome.
Also Read: What Are the Biggest Football Rivalries?
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will begin in less than one month, so prepare for its arrival. As the last to use the present structure before significant changes in 2026, this tournament will be unlike any other.