The FIFA World Cup 2022, the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup, is scheduled to be held between November 21st to December 18th, 2022.
The 2022 World Cup will be unlike any other. For the first time in history, Qatar, an Arab country, is all set to host the 2022 World Cup.
The opening match is scheduled to be played at the Al Bayt Stadium at 3:00 local time (UTC+3). To know more about the timing and the matches to be held, visit here to learn more.
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5 amazing facts about FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar
1. Qatar is the first Arab country to host the FIFA World Cup.
After South Korea and Japan co-hosted the World Cup in 2002, this will be the second time the World Cup will be hosted in Asia. The upcoming international football tournament is already intertwined in a mesh of ethnic and political lines.
Back in 2017, Qatar fell in between a diplomatic crisis when other Middle Eastern nations cut off their relations with Qatar led by Saudi Arabia.
For one, Qatar was accused of assisting Islamist groups and the allegations of aiding militant groups supporting al-Qaeda or the so-called Islamic State (IS). Attending the World Cup amid the diplomatic crisis may not make travel easy for players and the fans.
Fans can easily take short-haul flights from the UAE or Saudi Arabia to attend the selected matches. Unless Qatar and other Middle Eastern nations resolve their issues before the World Cup 2022, fans will have to resort to alternative plans for travel and accommodation.
2. World Cup 2022 Qatar is by far the most expensive World Cup in history.
In the 2014 World Cup, Brazil had spent a whopping 15 billion US dollars, following the 2018 World Cup, where Russia has spent over 11.6 billion US dollars. But the 2022 World Cup Qatar, these numbers don’t stand a chance.
Not to mention, Qatar is the home of the world’s third-largest naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas. They are also the topmost exporter of liquified natural gas. Hence Qatar has an abundance of money.
According to reports, Qatar has planned to spend 1.3 billion dollars just to improve their public transportation before the World Cup. They are also building a new city, Lusail, surrounding the stadium where the first and last World Cup 2022 is scheduled to be played. The budget estimated on building the city is almost 30 times the amount they are willing to spend on public transportation. What a splurge!
Qatar is going all out by incorporating high-technology, air conditioning, building new stadiums, training grounds, and so much more. The estimated bill to host the event may rise to 180 to 220 billion US dollars. This amount excludes broadcasting rights, and other charges during their bidding process in 2010.
3. The smallest nation ever to host the World Cup – Qatar!
The 2022 World Cup has already set many records. Apart from those, Qatar is by far the smallest nation, in terms of both population and geographic area, to host the FIFA World Cup.
Many of the fans may think that Switzerland, covering over 41,000 square kilometers, was the smallest country to host the World Cup, but that’s not true. Qatar covers only 11,000 square kilometers and is undoubtedly, by far, the smallest nation to be qualified to host the World Cup.
The stadiums in Qatar are close to each other, and the fans and supporters can easily attend three matches a day without any delay. In addition, FIFA World Cup 2022 will be the most packed and the shortest World Cup in history.
- In 1954, when Switzerland hosted the World Cup, the population was less than 5 million.
- In 1930, the World Cup was held in Uruguay, where the population was less than 3.5 million.
- Qatar has a population of only 2.6 million, making it the smallest nation to host such a major international event.
According to statistics, Russia recorded 5 million visitors during the World Cup 2018. If the diplomatic crisis still prevails between Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries, Qatar has to accommodate all its visitors which will lead the population to double up during the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Though Qatar typically accommodates over 1.7 million tourists in a year, the nation has to double up its infrastructure to accommodate the visitors during the World Cup.
4. FIFA World Cup 2022 will be the most outrageous World Cup ever.
FIFA World Cup 2022 has not yet started but is already on the path of setting new records.
Qatar had placed their bid against the United States, Australia, Japan, and South Korea in 2010, to host the World Cup 2022. Despite being an unlikely choice, Qatar still managed to bag in the FIFA annual congress votes in its favor- even with the alleged money laundering that was involved in the process.
Reports say the Qatari bid team directed a campaign to sabotage other teams participating in the bid. Even then, Qatar is still hosting the FIFA 2022 World Cup, and there is no one to stop them.
5. For the first time, the World Cup will be held during winter, in the midst of the desert.
The FIFA World Cups are usually held between June and July. But the 2022 FIFA World Cup is somewhat different. It will be held in Qatar during the winter months of November and December.
Though this sudden change of schedule may come as a shock to many fans, considering Qatar’s average annual temperature, the decision is understandable and valid.
The months of November and December are busy with the Christmas season knocking at the door. It will also create a clash with the Winter Olympics and other regional tournaments.
Though many are not in favor of this schedule, it’s probably a great option for the football players and fans, which would not have to deal with Qatar’s harsh summer conditions.
The whole world is excited about the FIFA World Cup 2022. For Qatar, it’s a great chance to showcase how they too can be a world sports destination.