5 Things Every Football Fan Must Know Ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
The last FIFA World Cup, Russia 2018, was thrilling and full of surprises, from Germany’s early exit to the host nation reaching the quarterfinals and many other exhilarating moments. When the 2018 FIFA World Cup ended, people started looking forward to the next edition–Qatar 2022.
Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup is slated to be held from November 21st to December 18th. With only a few weeks to go, it is closer than expected. The wait is almost over for many soccer fans who have been looking forward to the actions the event promises. Also, those looking forward to doing some online sports betting can’t wait to start.
In addition, this edition will be the last to feature the current format, as the subsequent editions will feature some significant changes. As you prepare to cheer your country to victory and await the various thrilling moments the competition will present, this article presents five things every football fan must know ahead of the competition.
1. The Tournament Will Be Held in Eight Stadiums, the Fewest for any World Cup in Living Memory
One interesting thing about this year’s edition of the World Cup in Qatar is the number of venues. The 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament will be held in 8 stadiums, the lowest for the event in recent memory.
The eight stadiums are within five cities in the country. They are; Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Lusail, Al Rayyan Stadium, Al Wakrah, Al Thumama Stadium, Education City Stadium, and Ras Abu Aboud Stadium.
All these stadiums have been built uniquely to combat heat problems. All of them will have air cooling systems that will keep the temperature below 27 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the dome of the hosting stadiums has also received structural accolades. For instance, the Al Rayyan Stadium won the “Stadium design of the year” in 2016.
2. A Winter World Cup
Look at the date allocated for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup; the tournament is happening during the winter, which means we will have a winter World Cup. Although many will say that this year’s competition will be the first winter World Cup, it is not. Winter months vary across various countries and continents.
In southern hemisphere countries like Uruguay (1930) and Chile (1962), the competition has been held in their winter months, usually between June and August. However, this is the first time the tournament will be held so late in the year. In a bid to avoid the country’s boiling summer climate, a decision was made to opt for November to December, when the weather will be fantastic and pleasurable in the middle eastern nation.
3. Alcohol or No Alcohol in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup?
If you were in the last edition of the World Cup, Russia 2018, the massive inflow of booze made the competition lively. Unfortunately, alcohol will not be available at Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Qatar is an Islamic country and hence has strict laws on importing and consuming alcohol in public places. If you’re caught drinking alcohol or being drunk in public spaces, you risk facing a six-month prison sentence or a fine as high as $850 or more.
On the brighter side, while alcohol will not be made available within the stadiums, the country will set up fan zones in different locations where you and other football fans who fancies alcohol can drink and have fun.
4. The First Carbon-Neutral FIFA World Cup in History
Another interesting fact about the 2022 FIFA World Cup is that it will be the first carbon-neutral one in history. To achieve this feat, Qatar has put many infrastructure projects in place.
For example, structures like the Doha Metro link have been implemented to connect all of this year’s world cup venues. By this, air travel, the world’s largest source of carbon emission, will be significantly curbed as domestic air travel will be greatly reduced or eliminated.
Another instance is the competition’s eight venues, built to meet stringent sustainability benchmarks. The hotel sector is another area that has also been encouraged to adopt green practices to reduce carbon emissions.
5. The Elephant in the Room – the Abuse of Workers
It would not be complete talking about the 2022 Qatar World Cup without discussing the controversy surrounding this year’s tournament. To make this year’s tournament one of the most spectacular, Qatar employed many workers, mostly migrants, to build its stadiums to standard.
Many of these workers have allegedly been said to work long hours in the desert heat, subjected to poor living conditions, with many dying of heart attacks and other on-site accidents. All these allegations have made Qatar face a lot of backlash and heavy criticism from various international NGOs and human rights groups.
Although the country has signed several agreements and made several steps to quell these allegations, critics have continued to voice their concerns about the controversies surrounding the abuse of workers.
The Qatar 2022 World Cup is around the corner, and as usual, it promises to be all fun. Like most of the recent FIFA World Cup tournaments, the Mundial promises to be spectacular and memorable.
As we countdown to the big kick-off in a couple of months, and each fan looks forward to cheering their home nation to victory, this article has taken a look at some interesting things football followers should know about this edition of football’s most famous competition. See you in Qatar!