2022 FIFA World Cup

Starting on November 21, 2022, 32 international men’s soccer teams will compete in the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) World Cup. Although, this year, the World Cup will be this winter in one of the hottest countries on Earth instead of the usual time during the summer.  

One of the world’s most-watched sporting events, the FIFA World Cup, originated in Uruguay in 1930. Since then, there have been 21 World Cups every four years, excluding the years between 1942 and 1946 for World War II. On a global scale, almost a billion people tune in to view the World Cup each year. The team that has held the title of “champion” for the past four years is France, which they achieved in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. At the beginning of each tournament, the teams are split into eight groups with four randomly selected teams per group. However, the pots the teams went into did have an order. For example, the groups with the highest FIFA ranking went into the first pot. This system got the United States Men’s team in the third pot which then got them placed with England, Iran, and Wales in Group B. Once all teams are in Groups A-H, they play each other to try to advance to the knockout round with the most points. For every win, the team gets three points, for draws; one point, and when a team loses, they do not get any points. At the end, the winning team in the finals gets the gold World Cup trophy that costs about $250,000.

The gold World Cup trophy costing $250,000. Photo provided by NESN.

Usually held in the summer months of June and July, the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held from November 20, 2022, to December 18, 2022. Along with the dates, the host country has also changed, with Qatar holding the Futbol (Soccer) tournament this year. Since the country is hosting for the first time, they built seven new stadiums, each having some aspects of the culture in Qatar. Although it is in four years, the next tournament will be hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico in 2026. 

Since November 28th, the second day of matches, there have been many memorable events such as the game between the United States and England that ended in a tie, as well as Qatar, the host country, losing the opening match to the Brazilian team. After the 3 days of matches are over, the qualifying teams will continue to the play-off stage. Additionally, on November 29th, the United States beat Iran in a must-win match. Even though it was only 1-0, the win allowed Team USA to move on to the knockout stage of Round 16.

The brackets for Round 16 as of December 1, 2022. Photo provided by Sporting News.

Overall, the FIFA World Cup will be a fun and exhilarating sporting event to watch as we celebrate the holidays and say goodbye to 2022.

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