The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be historic; it is the first time that the World Cup will be played in an Arab country, and the second time the event will be played in Asia. This will also be the last time that the tournament will involve 32 teams as it is set to increase in 2026, with Canada, Mexico, and the United States set to host.
There has also been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the event regarding corruption and the treatment of workers as they build the stadiums to host the event. The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sports event in the world. Every four years, the globe tunes in to watch the best soccer players in the world do battle, and 2022 will definitely be one to remember.
Let’s take a look at the soccer news 2022 FIFA World Cup and look at the details of the event in preparation for the big event.
When it was announced in 2010 that Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup, it generated criticism both about the corruption allegations and extreme heat in Qatar during the summer months, when the tournament is normally played.
In 2013 a group was commissioned to consider alternative dates to the World Cup. The group decided on late November to late December. This decision was to avoid the summer heat between May and September but also the 2022 Winter Olympics in February and Ramadan in April. This announcement was met with criticism because this is when many domestic leagues hold their regular season, leading to further affirmation that choosing Qatar for the World Cup was a bad idea.
The opening match with Qatar taking on a group A opponent will take place on Nov. 21, the knockout stages will begin on Dec. 9, and the finals will be played on Dec. 18. FIFA released the match schedule in July 2020, and the final draw is scheduled to take place in April 2022.
There will be eight stadiums that will be a part of the 2022 World Cup, and they will be assigned to specific groups during the first stage of the tournament. Al Bayt Stadium in Khor will host the first game of the tournament as Qatar will play their first game on Nov. 21 against a Group A opponent with a capacity of 60,000. The largest venue and the site of the World Cup finals will be Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail; the venue is currently under construction and is expected to seat 80,000 soccer fans.
Education City Stadium is located in Al Rayyan and is given its name because of the several college campuses that are located in the stadium’s vicinity, the capacity is 45,350. Ahmed bin Ali Stadium is also in Al Rayyan and was the site of a stadium built in 2003 and home to the Al-Rayyan Sports Club and Al-Kharitiyath Sports Club. But the original 21,282 seat stadium was demolished in 2015 and built for the World Cup; the new capacity is 40,740.
The main area where games will be held will be in Doha, the country’s capital on the eastern coast, four stadiums are in the Doha area, and they all have a capacity of 40,00. The four stadiums are Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, and Al Janoub Stadium.
The treatment of migrants to construct these stadiums has come under scrutiny since Qatar was awarded the tournament. Mainly Nepalese and Indian workers, journalists have reported that more than 6,500 migrant workers have died while working on real estate projects since 2010. Qatar has signed agreements to improve the situation, including raising the minimum wage of the workers and other improvements.
While winter 2022 seems like a long time away, the COVID-19 impact will still be felt. Qatar was still under construction of many buildings when the pandemic started, and it has set the country back. In April 2020, the government of Qatar provided $824 million to support companies to pay their workers and handle quarantine during the beginning of the pandemic.
It seems like all deadlines will be met, but the country will still take precautions when welcoming visitors. The host country is seeking COVID-19 vaccinations for all visitors, and all games will see a packed house with screaming fans, making for a great atmosphere. Thus far, there have been no official announcements regarding a protocol on how FIFA or Qatar will handle the virus during the tournament.
Fox and Telemundo will be the television host for the World Cup in the United States.
There have been several controversies surrounding the 2022 Qatar World Cup taking place, and it started in 2010 with the selection process. There have been many allegations about FIFA officials being bribed to vote in favor of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. Qatar beat out Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. FIFA looked into the corruption allegations with an internal investigation, but there were no findings, many accuse the investigation of being surface level and insufficient. In 2015 FIFA officials were arrested by Swiss officials in connection to a $150 million bribery scandal. There was speculation that the 2022 tournament would change hosts, but FIFA stated that if there was evidence, then the host would change but obviously, that never happened.
There have been diplomatic and human rights issues surrounding the games as well. In 2017, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing them of supporting terrorist groups. This blockade seems to happen because of Qatar hosting the World Cup, and the neighboring countries tried to make a power play and force FIFA to strip Qatar of the World Cup.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar, and this has led LGBTQ+ rights groups to voice their displeasure with the host country and worried if something might happen to visitors. The Muslim country has also allowed alcohol to be served during the World Cup, but drinking in public is still illegal.
It has been a long and crazy journey, but the 2022 Qatar World Cup is drawing closer. It is going to be a World Cup like we have never seen before. The logistics of this tournament have been a nightmare for FIFA in the decade-plus since the announcement was made that Qatar will be the host country. There has also had its fair share of controversy, and the last World Cup in 2018 with Russia also had its issues with people. The 2010s was not a good decade for FIFA; with a major corruption scandal shaking the association to its core, the Qatar World Cup is something they want to put past them. That being said, the venues look beautiful, and the energy from the crowds and players should be electric. Every four years, the World Cup is a great watch and fun to bet online in the World Cup betting odds.