It’s no longer news that FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 starts this Sunday, November 20, with 32 teams, including host country Qatar, competing in the tournament.
Played every four years, except in 1942 and 1946, due to World War II, the tournament has become one of the world’s favourite and most-watched games since its inception in 1930.
Here are five fun facts we think you should know about the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022:
- First-Ever World Cup in the Middle East
Qatar 2022 will be the first Middle-Eastern country and the second Asian country to host the games after South Korea/Japan in 2002.
Also, while Qatar has been a regular participant in the continental AFC Asian Cup, this is the first time the country will qualify for any FIFA World Cup game since its Independence in 1971.
- FIFA Winter is Coming
In the famous words of one of our favourite series of all time, Game of Thrones, “Winter is coming,” but in Qatar this time.
To avoid the intense Qatar summer heat that can be as high as 42 degrees, the tournament will be held in the winter season and from November to mid-December for the first time in the games’ history. Previous World Cup games were typically held in June and July.
- The Last World Cup Appearance of Our GOATs (Messi and Ronaldo)?
This might be the last World Cup two of football’s GOATs will ever play the game, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
For over a decade, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated men’s football, winning 12 Ballon D’or out of 14 winners from 2008 to 2022. After a combination of 21 World Cup appearances between both footballers, Qatar 20222 is expected to be the last World Cup appearance for the GOATs.
- Semi-Automated Offside Technology
FIFA has approved a semi-automated offside technology that will reduce VAR offline decisions from 70 to 25 seconds. Twelve multi-tracking cameras will be mounted on the roof of each Stadium to track the ball and each player.
- Most Expensive World Cup Ever
Adding up the money spent on infrastructure, building new stadiums, and renovating old ones, it costs Qatar around $220 billion to host the Winter World Cup, making it the most expensive ever.
This is about 14.6 times the amount Brazil spent to host the 2014 World Cup. (Side note: this is what happens when you are one of the richest countries in the world).