The Top Football Events to Look Forward to in 2022
It is good to see the revival of sport after the initial waves of COVID-19. Crowds are returning to stadiums to watch their favourite atheltes back in action. However, strict social distancing policies must be observed to avoid the spread of the virus through sporting events. Thankfully, viruses do not spread through broadcasts!
Regardless of regions and their respective popular sports, football is loved everywhere – it truly is the World Game. No matter if baseball legend David Dellucci inspires you, Virat Kohli is your hero, or if the Ashes is your all-time favourite sporting event, everyone pays attention to the biggest international football tournaments.
Not only are dedicated and casual football fans looking forward to the FIFA World Cup later this year, but there are many other entertaining events lined up for the year. Traditionally, we do not see multiple FIFA-organised soccer events in one year but delays due to the pandemic have forced the association to violate conventions. Thankfully, COVID-19 did not have an impact on FIFA World Cup and hopefully, Omicron will fade away soon.
Let’s take a look at the top football events in 2022 you shouldn’t miss.
FIFA World Cup 2022
It has been 20 years since Asia last hosted the FIFA World Cup. Qatar is now prepared to host the mega event that kicks off on November 21, 2022. The final of the World Cup, if there are no unexpected delays, will be played on December 18, 2022.
Generally, the FIFA World Cup is scheduled in summer but due to the scorching heat of the Arabian desert, football players will warm our winter this time around. Out of 21 previous FIFA World Cups, just one was played in Asia, when Japan and South Korea co-hosted the event we still remember for the heroics of Oliver Kahn and Ronaldo.
No Arab country has ever hosted a FIFA World Cup, though the game is played passionately in many Arab countries. Saudi Arabia has managed to play in the World Cup multiple times. The 2022 FIFA World Cup will go down in history as the last one to host 32 nations – from the next World Cup, we will see 48 nations competing for the title.
Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021
Cameroon is hosting the twice-delayed Africa Cup of Nations 2021 and the tournament has reached an interesting stage. 24 teams are competing for the trophy with Algeria trying to defend the title. The AFCON 2021 will also go down in history as the first to host 24 nations instead of 16.
FIFA Club World Cup
Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 so there’s no reason for UAE to stay behind. The FIFA Club World Cup 2021 has also been delayed because of the pandemic. This is a unique tournament in which confederation champions from different continents compete for the trophy.
The tournament will start on February 3, 2022, and the final will be played on February 12, 2022. Al Jazira club is the host, while CF Monterrey (Concacaf), Chelsea (UEFA), Al Ahly (CAF), Palmeiras (CONMEBOL), AS Pirae (Oceania), and Al Hilal (AFC) are representing as the champions of their respective leagues.
UEFA European Under-19 Championship 2022
This is the event that always gives insight into future superstars. Young upcoming talent will gather in Slovakia to demonstrate their skills from July 20 to August 20, 2022. The tournament has always been an inspiration for kids in Europe but this time, the kids had to grow up for another 2 years when COVID resulted in two cancellations, in 2020 and 2021.
The results of the UEFA European U-19 Championship are highly significant since team standings decide the fate of the next FIFA Under-20 World Cup. The top five teams of the tournament will get the chance to represent UEFA in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2023.
There’s more to look forward to!
Apart from the major tournaments in 2022, don’t forget to watch the following most anticipated football matches this year.
UEFA Champions League 2022 Final
Russia will host the 67th final of the UEFA Champions League in Krestovsky Stadium (Saint Petersburg) on May 28, 2022. The current Premier League season will end in the summer and football fan will be looking forward to the final match.
UEFA Women’s Champions League 2022 Final
Six days ahead of the UEFA (Men’s) League Final we’ll see the Women competing for the parallel title on May 22, 2022, in Turin, Italy. The Juventus Stadium will host this highly anticipated match.
UEFA Europa League 2022 Final
Just four days before the above-mentioned match, Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville, Spain will host UEFA Europa League 2022 Final on May 18, 2022. And don’t forget that EUFA Europa Conference League 2022 Final will also be played on 25 May 2022 in Tirana, Albania at the Kombetare Arena!