World Cup 2022: What to Know as Teams Prepare for Qatar

The World Cup draw has set the sphere, and after three intercontential playoffs the invitation record for this 12 months’s event in Qatar is full. Yet even as the groups now know who, and when, they’ll play, there are nonetheless loads of questions on how issues will play out in soccer’s first Winter World Cup. Here’s a primer on the world’s biggest sporting spectacle.

The event opens with 4 matches on Nov. 21 (three days earlier than Thanksgiving within the United States), the beginning of a soccer-stuffed 12 days of 4 video games a day. Over the month that follows, all of the video games will happen in a decent circle of eight stadiums in and round Qatar’s capital, Doha, making it probably the most compact World Cup in historical past.

The remaining is Dec. 18 — per week earlier than Christmas.

Brazil, France, England and Spain are the highest 4 decisions of oddsmakers, adopted by one other pedigreed group: Argentina, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Only eight nations have ever received the World Cup, in spite of everything, and 7 are within the subject once more. (Sorry, Italy. See you subsequent time. Maybe.)

The Americans certified once more after lacking the 2018 World Cup in Russia. They landed in an intriguing group that features England, Iran and Wales, which received an exciting playoff towards Ukraine in June.

The United States has trendy World Cup expertise towards two of its opponents. It tied England in South Africa in 2010 on the way in which to successful their first-round group, however misplaced to Iran in 1998 in a match crammed with political intrigue. Wales has solely been to the World Cup as soon as, in 1958; the United States missed that one.

They will hit the bottom operating too: The United States will face Wales on Nov. 21, the event’s first day, after which play England 4 days later, on Black Friday. A match towards Iran on Nov. 29 will shut the group stage.

What’s after that? The Americans’ group will likely be paired with the groups that advance from Group A — a bit that features Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal and the Netherlands — within the spherical of 16.

They all the time had, till Qatar received it.

Qatar, like the opposite bidders, initially proposed holding the event in its regular summer time window, and brushed apart any suggestion it couldn’t accomplish that with the assistance of cooling know-how that didn’t, on the time, exist. As The Times wrote on the day of the vote in 2010:

“Qatar’s bid overcame considerations about warmth that may attain 120 levels there in the summertime. Officials say they’ll construct air-conditioned stadiums, spending $4 billion to improve three arenas and construct 9 new ones in a compact space related by a subway system.”

It took greater than 4 years, however in 2015 FIFA, soccer’s world governing physique, finally concluded {that a} summer time World Cup in 120-degree temperatures would possibly convey pointless issues (like, say, followers and gamers dying) and agreed to transfer the event to the comparatively cooler months of November and December.

Oh, the leagues grumbled. In lot But they misplaced.

The change to winter will disrupt not solely league competitions in Europe and elsewhere, but in addition the profitable UEFA Champions League, and it’ll require beginning seasons earlier or ending them later, or each.

A winter World Cup additionally would depart these professionals who don’t go to Qatar — lower than 800 of the world’s gamers participate — with a midseason break that might lengthen to two months, as soon as pretournament camps and friendlies and post-Cup relaxation is factored in .

Fox Sports, which paid lots of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} for the United States broadcast rights, can have to wedge in a month of soccer video games round one other fall sport that tends to demand consideration that point of 12 months. Maybe you have heard of the NFL?

A complete of 32. They have been break up into eight teams of 4 within the draw, which notably didn’t embrace something that appeared to be the standard Group of Death. The high two finishers in every group advance to the spherical of 16. After that, the World Cup is a straight knockout event.

Qatar certified mechanically as the host, and after years of qualifying — a number of bonus months, thanks to the coronavirus — 31 different groups thus far have joined it. Those embrace a lot of the greatest groups from Europe and South America: England and Germany, Brazil and Argentina, France and Spain.

Canada is in. The United States and Mexico are in. Ukraine narrowly missed an opportunity to go. Russia was informed it wasn’t welcome.

The remaining two locations have been claimed in two intercontinental playoffs in June: Costa Rica beat New Zealand, the Oceania survivor, Australia beat Peru in a shootout.

Yes and sure.

Argentina, and Messi, certified in November. But Portugal, and Ronaldo, wanted to sweat out a European playoff after botching its assured route to the finals within the group stage.

Erling Haaland, for one. (Norway did not qualify.) Mohamed Salah. (Egypt misplaced to Senegal on penalty kicks for the second time in a month.)

Oh, and Italy. But then that is not new for them. The Italians missed the 2018 event, too. Whoops.

Qatar is in the identical time zone as Moscow. So no matter technique you used to get up early (or keep up late) for the video games in 2018 will work this time, too. But it would imply predawn kickoffs on the East Coast of the United States for some video games, and midafternoon begins for 10 pm video games in Qatar.

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