The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of soccer greatness. Only the best players are chosen to form part of their national teams, and those teams battle it out, group by group, each hoping to get a little bit closer to the crown. The game of champions played at this level creates stars and immortalizes them in the annals of soccer fame: few careers can bring you the kind of renown that a few minutes on the World Cup pitch can deliver! Though you might already be a soccer fan, if this is your first World Cup, you’ll need to understand the lay of the land if you’re going to play the World Cup odds. That’s where we come in: we’re going to break down the system and share some details about the location of this year’s World Cup: Qatar. Read on for all you need to know about this year’s soccer World Cup.
So the World Cup will be…where?
The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar in the United Arab Emirates. No World Cup has ever been played in such a small area: the country of Qatar itself is around the same size as Tripura in India. The population is less than 3 million, but you can be certain that number will swell as fans from all over the world pour in for the sporting event of the year. World Cup fever will be intensified by the short distances between venues, giving fans the possibility of attending as many as two matches in one day. Doha, the country’s capital, will see most of the action over the course of the tournament. It’s a city famous all over the world for its hospitality, its beauty, and its diverting shopping opportunities. There’s something in the city for every kind of traveler, and now there’ll also be something for soccer fans as well.
Doha is a rich and visually stunning city, so if you’re planning to head there to take in a few matches over the course of the Cup, you won’t run short of diversions with which to occupy your spare time. The stadiums that have been built or refurbished for the World Cup are of the highest standard, and are designed to safely accommodate the huge number of fans that will be attending the games.
Isn’t the World Cup usually held in summer?
Yes, it is! However, due to the location of this year’s World Cup, the only sensible time to hold it was determined to be in the winter months. In summer, the average temperature in Qatar is around 28 degrees in the evening, and it can get as high as a sweltering 41 degrees in the daytime. Playing sport or doing any kind of strenuous activity in these conditions would be inadvisable, even dangerous.
So how does it all work?
The groups for the World Cup are as follows:
- Group A: Netherlands, Senegal, Qatar, Ecuador
- Group B: United States, England, Iran, Wales
- Group C: Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Poland, Mexico
- Group D: Tunisia, Denmark, France, Australia
- Group E: Spain, Japan, Germany, Costa Rica
- Group F: Croatia, Morocco, Belgium, Canada
- Group G: Serbia, Cameroon, Brazil, Switzerland
- Group H: Korea Republic, Ghana, Portugal, Uruguay
During the group stage of the competition, which kicks the event off, the teams in the groups play each other once: this means three matches. Any win will earn a team three points, a tie will earn one point, and a loss earns nothing. The top two teams out of each group move forward to the Round of 16, which is an elimination round. Thereafter, the World Cup becomes a knockout event, with winning teams advancing and losing teams being sent home. This continues until there are only two teams left. They face off in the final on December 18, and a winner is crowned!
The three current favored teams to win the World Cup are Brazil, England, and France. Brazil might not have won the World Cup since 2002, but there’s no denying that their national team is rapidly returning to its former glory. Then there’s England: a nation of footballers, and eternal favorites. They came close to winning Euro 2020, but came up short in the final against Italy. Last, but certainly not least, we have the current title holders: France. This star-studded team is going to be a hard one to beat!
With these details, the World Cup should be a lot easier to understand and enjoy!