The most compact FIFA World Cup since 1930 and the very first edition to be held in the Middle East and Arab world will kick off from 20 November to 18 December 2022.
VIP Magazine’s IKENNA OKAFOR presents the big countdown with a weekly compilation of news, facts and figures to get you up to speed.
Qatar is set to host the first-ever winter World Cup in the history of the football tournament which has traditionally been held in the summer months. In addition, this year’s event will be the last to involve 32 teams, with an increase to 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 edition in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Among Qatar’s infrastructure projects are the construction of stadiums, highways, and hotels. The country is spending a staggering $200 billion on these projects. This will be the most expensive World Cup.
Due to Qatar’s intense heat, the country will host the FIFA World Cup in 8 fully air-conditioned stadiums for the first time.
The winning team at the 2022 World Cup final will receive $42 million in prize money. In 2018, the winner France received USD 38 million.
Runners-up will receive $30 million. In 2018, the runners-up received $27 million. That was Croatia.
In Qatar, the prize money pot is $700 million. Each team that qualifies for the World Cup will receive $2 million to cover its preparation costs. Every team that gets through the group stages will receive $10 million. So, a total of $54 million will go to the winner of the 2022 World Cup.
The 32 participating countries
The 32 countries that qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup are; Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, The Netherlands, Uruguay, Croatia, Denmark, Mexico, the United States, Senegal, Wales, Poland, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Switzerland, Ghana, Korea Republic, Cameroon, Serbia, Canada, Costa Rica, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ecuador. While the host, Qatar, will play the opening match of the tournament.
Player to watch
Sadio Mane (SENEGAL/ Bayern Munich)
Sadio Mane is considered to be the most technically gifted player among the Senegal team. Recently named African Footballer of the Year for the second time, the Bayern Munich attacker was part of the Liverpool team that reached the final of the UEFA Champions League in May. Boasting a top speed of 34.84 km per hour, which makes him one of the fastest forwards on the planet, the Sedhiou native is capable of explosive bursts of pace at critical moments during crucial matches.
The host of the next world cup final match in the 2022 Qatar World Cup is a city called Lusail. The town was not even founded until 2006.
At 45 years and 161 days, Egypt’s Essam El-Hadary became the oldest debutant in the competition. He played against Saudi Arabia on 25 June 2018.
In 2010, South Africa became the first African nation to play host to the World Cup.
Amazingly, a nation with a foreign coach has never won a FIFA World Cup. They all have the same nationality as the team that won.
India qualified for the 1950 World Cup Finals but had to opt out of the sporting event because they were not allowed to play barefoot. Playing barefoot was how the team had practised at the time.
Alcohol and fans
In Qatar, the main fanfest at the tournament will not serve alcohol until after 6:30 p.m., despite some games kicking off earlier in the day. Alcohol is prohibited in Qatar and drinking in public can lead to fines of up to 3,000 riyals (£720) or prison sentences of up to six months
Interestingly, at the 2010 South Africa World Cup, over 750,000 litres of beer were sold within the stadiums, equivalent to 3,170,064 beers. Also in 2018, the high consumption of alcohol during the early stages of Russia 2018 led to some bars in Moscow running out of beer as fans from across the world partied in the Russian capital
FIFA WORLD CUP: QATAR 2022: The Big Countdown