This is the World Cup year that the world has been waiting for since FIFA, the world football governing body, announced in Zurich over a decade ago that Qatar had defeated bid rivals Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States to host the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar 2022 will be the Middle East’s first World Cup and will leave some legacies after the tournament.
The tournament will begin on Monday, November 21 at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor with a match featuring the host country Qatar and will conclude on December 18, which is also Qatar’s National Day.
As the tournament’s hosts, Qatar received automatic qualification for this year’s tournament. Germany, the four-time World Cup winner, was the first team to secure a spot through the European qualification process, while Brazil, the most successful national team in World Cup history with five trophies, qualified quickly as one of the top four teams in South America’s groups. Thirteen teams have qualified so far.
The World Cup finals draw is scheduled for April 1, 2022, in Doha, after all confederation qualifiers have been completed.
The World Cup in 2022 will be held in eight stadiums. Qatar has already opened seven stadiums, two of which recently hosted Arab Cup 2021 matches.
The final will be played at Lusail Stadium, which will be inaugurated later this year.
All of Qatar’s stadiums have LED lighting, including colour-changing lights and other show effects that can be used for the opening and closing ceremonies at the Al Bayt and Lusail stadiums. These lights are energy-efficient, non-toxic and have up to six times the lifespan of traditional lights.
Concerned about COVID-19, Qatar previously stated that it will only allow fully vaccinated individuals to attend the World Cup and is in talks to secure one million doses in the event that global vaccination efforts lag.
Qatar has promised to host the first carbon-neutral World Cup, with carbon-cutting measures and green projects being implemented to offset the tournament’s carbon footprint. The tournament’s compact nature is a major accomplishment that will benefit fans.
Any two stadiums are no more than an hour’s drive apart, allowing fans to attend two or more games in a single day.
Stadium 974, named after the number of recycled shipping containers used in its construction and also symbolising Qatar’s international dialing code (+974), is the first stadium in World Cup history to be built with a plan to be disassembled. It is hoped that the temporary 40,000-seater facility will be disassembled and donated to some African countries, either completely rebuilt or contributing to a series of legacy initiatives.
If Portugal qualifies through the European playoff, superstars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s international careers may come to an end. However, one of the previous two European Champions, Portugal or Italy, will miss the World Cup as both will compete for one of the three remaining UEFA zone berths.
France, the reigning World Champions, is once again among the favourites. Brazil, Messi’s Argentina, the German National Team, Spain, Belgium and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal are also on the list.