People are eagerly looking forward to the FIFA World Cup which is right around the corner. Let’s get to know FIFA a little better before proceeding. FIFA stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association. It happens to be the global governing body for football. As heralded by its new slogan- “For the Game. For the World”, FIFA lays emphasis on both the spirit of the sport and its social responsibility to the fore.
Vision or Slogan – “For the Game. For the World.”
Motto – “Expect Amazing“
Fundamental Values – Integrity & Belief in the Thought: “Just as the game itself, FIFA must be a model of fair play, tolerance, sportsmanship and transparency.”
Any national association football team must undergo the qualification process in order to qualify for one of the 32 spots available in the FIFA World Cup tournament. The Senior Men’s National Team of any country is eligible to take part in FIFA. Once selected, the 32 teams along with automatically qualifying host nation(s), compete over the course of a month at various venues within the host nation. According to the current format, the qualifier games are played over the preceding three years of the final FIFA tournament.
The current champion is France, which won its second title at the FIFA tournament in Russia. The men’s world cup is better known as the FIFA World Cup, while the women’s world cup has been titled the FIFA Women’s World Cup. There have been a total of 21 World Cups and 8 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments up till now.
History & Trivia
The World Cup has been held every four years since its inception in 1930, lending enough time for qualification tournaments and national team playoffs. The only exception was between 1942 and 1946 because of the ongoing Second World War. The first FIFA World Cup was held in Uruguay in July 1930. In addition to hosting the First World Cup, Uruguay won it by defeating Argentina in the finals by a score of 4 to 2.
This sport is played in over 200 countries, and more than 250 million players take part in FIFA tournaments each year. A total of 79 national teams competed in the 21 final tournaments held during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Eight national teams have taken the trophy home. Brazil has won five times and is the only team to have competed in every FIFA tournament. The other World Cup winners include Germany and Italy with four titles each. Two titles each have been won by Argentina, France and the tournament’s debut winner, Uruguay. Lastly, England and Spain won one title each. The current invincible World Cup champions are France.
The FIFA World Cup is the most widely viewed and followed single sporting event in the world. The cumulative viewership of all 2006 World Cup matches was around 26.29 billion. You will be surprised to know that approximately 715.1 million people were watching the final game, which equals a ninth of the entire population living on this planet.
Which Countries have Hosted the World Cup?
Until now, 17 countries have hosted the World Cup. This list includes Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, and Italy which have each hosted twice, while Uruguay, Switzerland, Sweden, England, Argentina, Spain, the United States, Japan and South Korea (jointly), South Africa, Chile and Russia have each hosted once.
In 2026, the World Cup will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States. With this, Mexico will earn the prestigious title of being the first country to host games at three FIFA World Cups.
Qatar will be Hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022
Qatar is a dynamic hub that globally connects the East to the West. Consequently, commuting and connecting with the rest of the world become simpler.
In December 2010, Qatar created history after it won the right to host the FIFA World Cup 2022 and became the first middle-east country to do so. The 2022 World Cup has been scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21st to December 18th. This will be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world and it will be the second to occur entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament held in South Korea and Japan.
Some Interesting Facts about FIFA World Cup 2022 Tournament
It goes without saying that FIFA 2022 is going to be one of the biggest sports events to be held this year.
- Qatar is the smallest nation by area that has been selected to host a FIFA World Cup.
- Furthermore, this tournament will be the last to involve 32 teams. The number of teams competing in the next FIFA 2026 tournament will increase to 48.
- This World Cup will be held from late November to mid-December due to Qatar’s intense summer heat wave. Hence, this will become the first FIFA sporting event that will be held in the winter months
- The matches will be held in only eight stadiums for the first time and all the stadiums will be fully air-conditioned.
- This tournament will last for a time period of around 28 days. This makes the FIFA 2022 World Cup the shortest tournament since the 1978 edition.
- The very first match of the tournament will take place at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha between Senegal and the Netherlands.
- The final match has been scheduled for December 18th, 2022, which coincidentally is Qatar National Day.
- This will be the first time that a FIFA World Cup will be played in the Middle East.
- Originally, there was only one football stadium in the entire country. In order to meet the target, seven additional stadiums are being built at a rapid pace.
- All the host stadiums are located within a 35-mile radius of Doha, making it incredibly convenient for fans to attend multiple matches.
- Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport are teaming up to ensure the smooth running of1300 flights into the country every day to bring in passengers for FIFA World Cup 2022 the entire month.
- A multi-song collection will be included on the tournament’s soundtrack for the first time. This will include international artists showcasing diverse musical genres from around the world, setting the tone that calls for a global celebration.
- This 2022 World Cup will be the most expensive to date. The country is spending approximately $200 billion USD on infrastructure projects, including the construction of roads, stadiums, highways, hotels, setting up of street lights and so much more.
How is Qatar Preparing for the FIFA World Cup 2022?
Qatar stadiums are being designed to reflect the country’s rich historical and cultural heritage, while also taking into consideration other factors such as comfort, accessibility, and sustainable development.
So, without any further ado, let’s delve into the deeper details –
- With preparations at their peak, the natives are applying their best efforts to solve the commuting problems. Each venue has been linked to the Qatar Metro network ensuring that all visitors have access to regular buses, metro, and tram services, taxis, and rideshares as well as other modes of transportation.
- 8 stadiums or venues where the event will be held are Al Bayt Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Education City Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Lusail Stadium and Stadium 974.
- The football event has been shifted to November, because the average temperature drops between 20-22 degrees Celsius. Moreover, to combat the heat and precipitation, all the stadiums are now being fitted with air conditioning systems.
- The country has signed deals with cruise liners to accommodate 40,000 visitors.
- Apart from this, organizers of the Glastonbury music festival have been roped in to provide tents in the desert for the comfortable stay of fans.
- The marketing strategies of Qatar have included statements describing the stadiums as contributing to “Zero Waste.” They have stated that after the World Cup, the upper tiers of the stadiums will be demolished and donated to countries with less developed sports infrastructure. Qatar aspires to have all World Cup stadiums conform to the certified standards set by the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS).
FIFA World Cup 2022- Official Branding, Song and Mascot
According to the updated information, the opening date of the FIFA tournament has been shifted to November 20th, i.e., Sunday, instead of November 21st. In the group stage, the four matches scheduled for the day will be played at 13:00, 16:00, 19:00, and 22:00 at local time (UTC+3) respectively.
The official emblem was unveiled on 3rd September, 2019. Designed to resemble the tournament trophy, the infinity symbol (emblem) takes the shape of the number eight. This single number reflects the interconnected worldwide football event and the eight host stadiums. The artwork is reminiscent of the traditional woolen shawls worn by men and women throughout the Arab world during the winter months, where the tournament is currently taking place. The popularity of this shawl is like that of football, a unifying force that has woven itself into the fabric of people’s everyday lives. In addition, this icon also depicts waves similar to sand dunes found in the desert.
The typeface crafted to complement the emblem embodies Qatar’s heritage while adding to it a global twist. The writings incorporate elements of the traditional Arabic calligraphy along with other multilateral languages. The most eminent of these is Kasheeda. Kasheeda is the practice of elongating specific parts of the characters to achieve better fluency, elegance and typographical emphasis in Arabic Script.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 logo depicts – “A Loop of Culture and Football”.
The mantra or slogan of the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar is – “One World, One Home & “Now is All”.
The mascot for the tournament 2022 was announced during the group stage draw on April 20th, 2022. Its name is La’eeb, an Arabic term which stands for “super-skilled player.” Standing next to every football player is La’eeb, who firmly believes in “Now is All”. He is known for his youthful spirit, spreading joy and enhancing self-belief in others wherever it goes. According to the character’s official backstory, he comes from a parallel universe where other mascots reside.
On March 30th, 2022, the official match ball, the “Al Rihla,” was unveiled. It majorly draws inspiration from the history, cultural background, architecture, iconic boats and flag of Qatar. Al Rihla is an Arabic word that means “the journey.” This is also the first ever official match ball created with water-based glues and inks, keeping sustainability in mind.
The gameplay is becoming so fast and unrealistic that Adidas has added some new features that improve the speed and accuracy of the ball. As a part of the hi-tech development process, the Adidas Al Rihla will include a sensor suspended in the core of the match ball, making it the first World Cup match ball to feature such connected-ball technology. Twelve dedicated cameras will be set in each stadium to monitor the ball as well as the players. They will provide a comprehensive analysis of every relevant move made, especially in the event of an offside claim.
The official soundtrack of the tournament is going to be “Hayya Hayya (Better Together)”, sung by Trinidad Cardona, Davido and AISHA. This song was released on April 1st, 2022 along with a fascinating music video.
Partners & Sponsors
The World Cup 2022 will be partnered and sponsored by seven organizations, respectively.
The list of 7 Fifa World Cup Partners includes Adidas, Coca-Cola, Wanda Group, Qatar Airways, Qatar Energy, Hyundai-Kia and Visa.
7 FIFA 2022 sponsors are Byju’s, Budweiser, Crypto.com, McDonald’s, Vivo, Mengniu Dairy, and Hisense.
The 2022 World Cup: Allegations, Conflicts & Controversies
This FIFA tournament got surrounded by its own set of allegations, conflicts, and controversies. Some of those that became major discussions are as –
- According to some investigations, Qatar hired Kevin Chalke. Kevin Chalke was a former CIA officer turned private contractor. He supposedly spied on rival bid teams and key football officials who picked up the winner in 2010.
- In May 2011, corruption allegations against some of FIFA’s senior officials raised questions over the legitimacy of the World Cup 2022 being held in Qatar.
- The high costs required to make ends meet drew a lot of criticism.
- The unfavourable weather conditions also raised concerns about Qatar’s ability to host the tournament.
- The claims of corruption in the bidding have also come to light. Qatar, on the other hand, denies any wrongdoing. The whistleblower at the centre of the allegations later admitted to fabricating the corruption claims.
- Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a concern was raised that the global economy could experience a recession. There was consensus that this would impact the ability of football fans worldwide to travel and celebrate.
- The major repercussions of hosting FIFA in Qatar, harsh criticism was directed at the treatment of foreign workers involved in World Cup preparations. Hundreds of migrant workers have died as a result of human rights violations, careless behaviour and inhumane working conditions.
The Ending Note
Fifa has received over 23 million ticket requests for Qatar World Cup matches, with over three million fans expecting to get tickets to the World Cup final at Qatar’s Lusail Iconic Stadium. Geographic experts estimate that the number of visitors may actually exceed the originally estimated 1.7 million.
Although concerns about the tiny Persian Gulf nation’s ability to handle enormous football fans still persist, there is a high demand to attend some of its biggest group-stage games. Furthermore, the introduction of Goal Line Technology and Video Assistant Refereeing System in FIFA has raised the bar of entertainment and drawn more of its fans to this spectacular sporting event.
What are you waiting for? All fanatics are advised to purchase the necessary merchandise, essentials, football gear, branded jerseys, guides through the FIFA World Cup and Qatar, football games, songs, figurines and so on.