Qatar incoming! A beginner's complete guide to the 2022 FIFA World Cup from top to bottom
The much-awaited FIFA World Cup, last hosted in 2018 by Russia and won by France, will return to the TV screens on November 20, ending a four-and-a-half year-long wait. But before Qatar and Ecuador take the field in the first match of the historic tournament, here is a complete guide for first-time football watchers to follow.
Before the footballing action, fans will be serenaded by the beautiful voices of Shakira and Dua Lipa, at the Al-Bayt Stadium, starting at 7:00 pm. However, the fans watching from India will undoubtedly keep their eyes out for Bollywood star Nora Fatehi, who also featured in one of the official soundtracks from the World cup — Light the Sky!
Black Eyed Peas, J Balvin and Nigerian music sensation Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie are among the other artists to perform at the opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony will be followed by the blockbuster match between Qatar and Ecuador, which will kick off at 8:30 pm IST.
Final match details
Eight groups. 32 teams. 1 winner. The end of almost four weeks of action will see the top two teams in the tournament battle for the ultimate trophy in world football. The final will take place at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday, December 18.
Full squad list
Here is a complete list of the squads that have been announced till now!
The vibrant middle-eastern nation of Qatar will have one over their neighbours after becoming the first Arab country to host a FIFA World Cup. This will also be the second World Cup to take place in Asia, after the 2002 World Cup in South Korea-Japan.
Qatar's world cup bidding community was led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, son of Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani the then Emir of Qatar. Before FIFA was hit by a major scandal surrounding their former president Sepp Blatter, the idea of a World Cup in the Arab nation was well-endorsed by the world.
For the 2022 edition of the World Cup, the FIFA Executive Committee voted to decide which candidate should host the tournament. The multiple-round ballot system was used to determine the tournament host. All eligible members of the FIFA Executive Committee had one vote.
The candidate country that received the fewest votes in each round was eliminated until a single candidate was chosen by the majority. In the event of a tied vote, FIFA President Sepp Blatter would have had the deciding vote. There are twenty-four members on the committee, but two of those were suspended due to accusations of selling votes.
Qatar staved off challenges from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States in what has been called the most controversial World Cup bidding process in the history of the competition.
From qualification to the finals
FIFA have divided all the countries into six continental confederations, which are as follows: Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), Confederation of African Football (CAF), Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), and Oceania Football Confederation (OFC).
Of the 32 participating nations, 24 of them competed at the previous tournament in 2018. Qatar are the only team making their debut in the FIFA World Cup, becoming the first hosts to make their tournament debut since Italy in 1934. The Netherlands, Ecuador, Ghana, Cameroon and the United States are returning after missing the 2018 event, while Canada will be playing in the tournament after 36 years.
Four-time world champions and reigning European champions Italy have failed to qualify for a second successive World Cup, losing in the qualification play-off semi-final, and previous World Cup hosts Russia, were disqualified from competing due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Draw for the World Cup
The final draw was held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Doha, Qatar on April 1, 2022. The 32 teams were put into four pots based on the team rankings of March 31, 2022. Pot one had hosts Qatar and the best seven teams. Pot two contained the next best eight teams, with the next best eight teams in pot 3. Pot 4 contained the five lowest-ranked teams, along with the placeholders for the two inter-confederation play-off winners and the UEFA Path A play-off winner.