2022 is proving to be an amazing year for sports fans all across the globe. Cricket fans had their fun with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which ended just last week. But now is the time for football to take over the world. The FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks off this weekend, on November 20th. These tournaments are always globally unified events, and the 22nd edition, taking place in Qatar, is no different. Actually, it feels like just for a month, the world is going to forget about its differences and come together. This is the power of love for football!
32 teams, 8 venues, one trophy- the FIFA World Cup 2022 has people from all over the world extremely excited. “Now is All,” being the tagline of this tournament, already tells us exactly what we’re in for. The Arab World’s first World Cup promises to captivate global attention. Before it officially commences, let’s look into the highly anticipated tournament’s details.
Qatar: The Controversial Host Country
Of course, nothing can take place in today’s world without creating controversies. People have criticized Qatar’s selection as the host country for the FIFA World Cup 2022. This is due to various reasons, such as Qatar’s laws regarding alcohol consumption and homosexuality. Additionally, during the tournament’s preparations, many migrant workers were exploited and died, according to multiple reports.
Even Qatar’s climate became an aspect used to criticize it for being unfit to host the FIFA World Cup 2022. These tournaments usually take place during the months of June and July. Qatar’s weather conditions forced the World Cup to take place in November and December. This avoided the summer heat and clashes with the Winter Olympics, Paralympics, and Ramadan.
The 32 Teams in the FIFA World Cup 2022
All six FIFA continental confederations held FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying competitions. Moreover, all 211 FIFA member associations were eligible to compete for the qualification. Even the host team, Qatar, and the previous World Cup champions, France, had to participate in these matches. As a result, 32 nations qualified to play at the tournament, out of which 24 had already competed in 2018. This marks Qatar’s FIFA World Cup debut, making them the first hosts to make their debut since Italy in 1934. This is also the first World Cup in which none of the qualifying teams made their debut.
In addition, the Netherlands, Ecuador, Ghana, Cameroon, and the United States made their comeback after their absence at 2018’s tournament. Canada also returned after being absent for 36 years, with their only World Cup appearance being in 1986. Wales also qualified after their only participation in 1958, a record European gap of 64 years. Unfortunately, things didn’t fare too well for Italy for the second consecutive World Cup as the four-time champions couldn’t qualify. They were the only former champions and the highest ranked FIFA team that failed to make it past the qualifying rounds. Russia, despite being the previous World Cup hosts, got barred from the FIFA World Cup 2022 after its invasion of Ukraine.
The Schedule: When and Where
Qatar’s climate pushed the FIFA World Cup 2022 to November and December. It got rescheduled from the usual June-July to avoid the intense Qatari summer heat. All of the domestic leagues were obliged to incorporate extended breaks to accommodate the World Cup.
And so, FIFA confirmed the match schedule on July 15, 2020. The FIFA World Cup 2022 was going to begin on November 21. The first group match will now happen on November 20 after Qatar lobbied FIFA to allow them to open the tournament. Now, the first match between Qatar and Ecuador will be the only game on November 20. Afterwards, four group stage matches will take place every day, at 13:00, 16:00, 19:00, and 22:00. For the last round and the knockout stage, the kick-offs will take place at 18:00 and 22:00. The third-place match will happen at the Khalifa International Stadium on December 17 at 18:00. Finally, the final will also take place at 18:00 on December 18 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Groups A, B, E, and F will play at the Al Bayt, Khalifa International, Al Thumama, and Ahmad Bin Ali stadiums. Groups C, D, G, and H will play at Lusail Iconic, 974, Education City, and Al Janoub stadiums.
FIFA World Cup 2022 x Sound Crush
Also, BTS singer Jung Kook and American group Black Eyed Peas will perform at the opening ceremony. English singer Robbie Williams will be joining them as well. Everyone at Sound Crush is extremely excited to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022. So much so that Sound Crush is bringing back its 20% discount offer on its speakers, just like the cricket tournament. Listen to the loud FIFA anthems and soundtrack through Sound Crush speakers and elevate your football experience. We can’t wait to support our favorite teams and see the world come together!