World Cup 2022: What to know as teams prepare for Qatar

The World Cup draw is Friday in Qatar, even though the whole field is not finished yet . Although we don’t know all the teams, we do kn...


The World Cup draw is Friday in Qatar, even though the whole field is not finished yet. Although we don’t know all the teams, we do know quite a bit about how things are going to play out. Here’s a look at the world’s greatest sporting spectacle.

The opening match will take place on November 21 (three days before Thanksgiving in the United States). During the following month, all games will take place in a tight circle of eight stadia in and around Qatar’s capital, Doha, making it the most compact World Cup in history.

The final will take place on December 18 – a week before Christmas, which means Doha airport on the morning of December 19 will look like the entrance to a Walmart on Black Friday.

They always did, until Qatar got it.

Qatar, like the other bidders, initially offered to hold the tournament in its normal summer window, and brushed off any suggestions it couldn’t do it with the help of cooling technology that didn’t exist at the time. As the Times wrote on election day in 2010:

“Qatar’s bid overcame concerns about the heat which can reach 120 degrees there in the summer. Officials say they will build air-conditioned stadiums, spending $4 billion to upgrade three arenas and build nine new ones in a compact area linked by a subway system.

It took more than four years, but in 2015 football’s world governing body FIFA finally concluded that a summer world Cup at temperatures of 120 degrees could lead to unnecessary problems (like, for example, the death of fans and players) and accepted move the tournament to the relatively cooler months of November and December.

Oh, the leagues grumbled. Many. But they lost.

The winter shift will disrupt not only league competitions in Europe and elsewhere, but also the lucrative UEFA Champions League, and seasons will need to start earlier or end later, or both.

A winter World Cup would also leave professionals who don’t go to Qatar – fewer than 800 world players attend – with a mid-season break that could stretch to two months, once camps and friendly matches before the tournament and rest after the Cup are taken into account. .

Fox Sports, which has paid hundreds of millions of dollars for U.S. broadcast rights, will have to wedge a month of football games around another fall sport that tends to grab attention at this time. of the year. Have you heard of the NFL?

A total of 32. They will be divided into eight groups of four. The top two from each group qualify for the round of 16. After that, the World Cup is a knockout tournament.

Qatar have automatically qualified as hosts and 28 other teams have joined so far. These include most of the biggest teams in Europe and South America: England and Germany, Brazil and Argentina, France and Spain.

Canada is on board. United States and Mexico joined the field on Wednesday night.

Ukraine could still go. Russia Won’t do.

Three places remain unclaimed. One will come from Europe, where Ukraine’s qualifier against Scotland has been postponed by war. These teams will meet in June, with the winner taking on Wales for the final European spot.

The other two entries will come from two intercontinental qualifiers that month: Costa Rica will face New Zealand, the survivor of Oceania, in one match, and Peru, the fifth-ranked South American team, will face an Asian team, either Australia or the United Arab Emirates.

Yes and Yes.

Argentina and Messi qualified in November. But Portugal and Ronaldo must have been sweating in the European qualifiers after missing out on their guaranteed route to the group stage final.

Erling Haaland, for a. (Norway did not qualify.) Mohammad Salah. (Egypt lost to Senegal on penalties for the second time in a month.)

Oh and Italy. But this is nothing new for them. The Italians also missed the 2018 tournament. Oops.

Qatar is in the same time zone as Moscow. So whatever strategy you used to wake up early (or go to bed late) for the games in 2018 will work this time too. But that will mean kickoffs as early as 4 a.m. EST and no later than 2 p.m. EST.

The draw for the World Cup will take place on Friday in Qatar. In it, the 29 qualified teams and the three still to be determined will be placed in groups. So, at the end of the day, you’ll know which three teams your team will face in the group stage and you’ll have a good idea of ​​who could be expecting in the knockout rounds.

The usual suspects qualified early, so many, in fact, that our football columnist Rory Smith wrote in November that “it is likely that the winner is already there.”

Quite what the tournament, riddled with scandal and concern about the day Qatar was announced as a host, will be as can not yet be known. The identities of the teams who will contest it, however, are – for the most part – extremely familiar.

Most, if not all, of the traditional contenders are already there: a 10-nation European contingent, led by defending champions France and Belgium, officially the best team in the world, as well as Spain, England and Germany. They were joined by the two great powers of South America, Brazil and Argentina.

More than a dozen additional teams have joined the party since these sentences were written last year. Suffice to say that in March, it’s still wide open.

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Newsrust - US Top News: World Cup 2022: What to know as teams prepare for Qatar
World Cup 2022: What to know as teams prepare for Qatar
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