Qatar 2022 Countdown…4 days to go

The first-ever winter edition of the World Cup is now within touching distance, with hosts Qatar getting the tournament underway on Sunday. VIP Magazine’s IKENNA OKAFOR begins a daily countdown to the biggest football event on the planet with incisive and precise updates.

News and titbits

Nkunku ruled out of World Cup

Christopher Nkunku has been ruled out of the World Cup after the France striker suffered a knee injury in training on Tuesday.

The RB Leipzig front man took a knock in a challenge with Eduardo Camavinga as they contested a 50-50 ball and he had to be helped off the field.

Christopher Nkunku

It was later confirmed Nkunku will not travel to Qatar after tests revealed he had sprained his left knee.

The French Football Federation sent Nkunku’s medical file to FIFA in order for the defending champions to call up a replacement.

Infantino appeals for Russia, Ukraine ceasefire
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called on Russia and Ukraine to enter into a one-month ceasefire during the World Cup in Qatar.
Infantino told leaders at a summit of the G20 group of major economies in Indonesia the World Cup provided a “unique platform” for peace and unity because the event will be watched by some 5 billion people on television.

Gianni Infantino

“So my plea with all of you is to stay on a temporary ceasefire for one month for the duration of the World Cup,” he said at a lunch with G20 leaders on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
“You are the world leaders. You have the ability to influence the course of history,” he added.
The World Cup begins in Qatar on Sunday amid widespread criticism of the country’s human rights record, particularly regarding the workers who built the stadiums.

What’s new in Qatar

It’s the first World Cup in November
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is the first to be held in November-December and will use cooling equipment to manage the temperature.

It’s the first with female referees
Three women have been included among the 36 referees for the very first time during a men’s FIFA World Cup.

Stephanie Frappart of France, Yoshimi Yamashita from Japan, and Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga will be the three new female referees during the 28-day event.

It’s the first with five substitutes
For the first time in a men’s FIFA World Cup, teams will be permitted to make five substitutions, with this number increasing from three from the previous editions.

Most shocking moment

Suarez’s bite

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez took a bite out of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder in 2014. Chiellini pulled his shirt down to reveal teeth marks, while Suarez held his mouth in an attempt to look like he was the victim. He got away with it in the game, not even getting booked, as Uruguay won 1-0 but Suarez was then banned from all football-related activity for four months.

World Cup Squad


Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois, Simon Mignolet, Koen Casteels
Defenders: Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Leander Dendoncker, Wout Faes, Arthur Theate, Zeno Debast, Yannick Carrasco, Thomas Meunier, Timothy Castagne, Thorgan Hazard
Midfielders: Kevin de Bruyne, Youri Tielemans, Andre Onana, Axel Witsel, Hans Vanaken
Forwards: Eden Hazard, Charles De Ketelaere, Leandro Trossard, Dries Mertens, Jeremy Doku, Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Lois Openda


Goalkeepers: Alisson, Ederson, Weverton
Defenders: Dani Alves, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Alex Telles, Bremer, Eder Militao, Marquinhos, Thiago Silva
Midfielders: Bruno Guimaraes, Casemiro, Everton Ribeiro, Fabinho, Fred, Lucas Paqueta
Attackers: Antony, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, Neymar, Pedro, Raphinha, Richarlison, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior

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