The 22nd FIFA World Cup started on November, 20th in Qatar and there is already much to talk about. Much news, controversy, and a comprehensive motto: “Now is all”.
Now is also the time when those who love a good bet are looking for a bookmaker with the best odds to make the victory of their team even sweeter.
It is the second World Cup to be hosted solely in Asia after the tournament that took place in Japan and South Korea in 2002, and the first to be staged in the Arab and Muslim worlds. It was said to be the most expensive FIFA event, too, though Qatari officials, including organizing CEO Nasser Al Khater, claimed that only $8 billion, instead of the estimated $200 billion, were spent on the preparations; allegedly, all the other expenses on infrastructure were the part of an improvement plan. Also, this year’s World Cup is supposed to be the last with 32 competing football teams as at the 2026 event there will be 48 participants.
An unusual date, too–June and July are the typical time for the World Cup, which can be seen clearly if one is to look at the two previous events, in 2018 and 2014. But the extremities of the Qatari climate made that simply dangerous to both viewers and players and, thus, 18 December is scheduled as the last day of the 2022 tournament. Due to these changes, the World Cup’s schedule overlaps with the domestic football league seasons forcing all European leagues to take long breaks to make sure there is time for FIFA Championship. Major European events have arranged their group matches to take place before the World Cup in order to avoid having group matches the following year.
The total prize pool of the Qatari World Cup is $440 million: $40 million greater than its predecessor. Each team of participants received $1.5 million before the competition to cover the preparation costs; each team gets at least $9 million in prize money.
Here are the participants for 2022’s edition of the FIFA World Cup:
- Costa Rica
- Korea Republic
- Saudi Arabia
- United States
The way to get into the World Cup competitor’s list is through FIFA’s own qualifying competitions that six FIFA’s continental confederations organize. The Qatar team gets one automatically as the team of the host country–speaking of first times, their first time as a competitor of the World Cup tournament. Although, it didn’t help much as they ingloriously lost all three matches of the group stage being the first host again but with an unfortunate title: first to lose every match and to be eliminated from the competition.
A contribution to the history of football
Anyway, there are many bright and memorable moments to save and share from this year’s edition of the FIFA World Cup. For example, this is the novelty in tournament history when one official song has been replaced with an entire soundtrack: four catching and lively tunes that show us that football unites the world the very same way the music does.
Beauty and poetry have indeed been embodied in this tournament’s emblem: its shape of an unbroken loop resembles both the shape of the FIFA World Cup trophy and the infinity symbol reminding us about moving forward with respect for traditions and hopes for the future. Another striking reference is to the number eight which is exactly how many stadiums are prepared to host fans across the country.
And, of course, not to forget the supporters, whose vibrant costumes, masks, and body paint transformed the Qatar tournament into a beautiful show and a worthy one to be remembered.