As the 2022 FIFA World Cup approaches the final stages, the excitement among fans and enthusiasts is at an all-time high. Definitely some teams have lost, but most football fans wait eagerly for the semis and finals. The grand finale is expected to be quite spectacular this time around as France will take on Argentina. As fans wait for the last 90 minutes of pure adrenalin, here’s a look at some amazing facts about 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Brazil was the favorite – In 2022 FIFA World Cup, Brazil was considered to be the favorite to lift the golden trophy. However, as it has turned out, Brazil is out of the race. Host country Qatar was among the least favorite, with odds of winning at 250 to 1. Surely, that has been proven right.
Morocco creates history – The football World Cup has seen participation from dozens of countries. However, throughout its 92-year history, only a handful of nations have been able to win the tournament. Only eight countries have so far won the world cup – France, Brazil, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, Spain and England. List of nations that have entered world cup semi-finals is also quite short. In 2022 World Cup, Morocco has created history by becoming the first African country to enter the semi-finals. It had done so after defeating Portugal in the quarter finals. However, it lost to France in the semis.
First World Cup in Middle East – This is the first time the world cup is being held in Middle East. Also, it’s the first-time world cup is being held during winter time of Northern Hemisphere. This was a deliberate move, as host country Qatar gets quite hot during summer months. This is why world cup was pushed to November, when the climate is relatively milder in Qatar.
Allegations of bribery – World Cup 2022 has attracted its fair share of criticism. Key among them is the bribery charge against the host country. Similar allegations have been made in earlier world cup events.
No entry for Russia – Russia could have probably qualified for 2022 World Cup. But due to its invasion of Ukraine, countries like Sweden, Poland and Czech Republic chose not to play with Russia. As a result, FIFA disqualified the Russian team.
More than billion viewers – 2022 World Cup final is watched by more than a billion people across the globe. Ironically, the last world cup was held in Russia. In final match, around 80,000 folks were at the stadium while more than 1.12 billion people were watching it live in their homes.
No alcohol in the stadium – One of the sponsors of 2022 world cup is Budweiser. But since Qatar does not allow public drinking, drinks are sold before and after the matches. And of course, no carrying the drink inside the stadium. Drinking zones were setup up at a different location, but there weren’t many takers due to long travel time.
Last chance for Lionel Messi – At age 35, this is probably the last chance for Lionel Messi to be part of the team that lifts the golden trophy. It has eluded him till now. Cristiano Ronaldo, aged 37, is another popular footballer that has missed on the opportunity.
Next year is women’s world cup – Yes, there’s a women’s world cup, but it hasn’t been able to garner the same level of popularity as the original world cup. Next women’s world cup will be held in 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.