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November 4th, 2022

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A tournament like no other: everything you need to know about the World Cup 2022 in Qatar

On Sunday 20 November at precisely 17:00 (Belgian time), the 22nd edition of the football World Cup will kick off. An event that is always highly anticipated around the world, and which has again got everyone talking. 

With its dizzying numbers, unusual timing and air-conditioned stadiums, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is unprecedented, to say the least. 32 countries including the Qatari hosts have managed to qualify for the final round of the competition that will take place in peculiar conditions. 

A first “winter” World Cup

The 2022 edition of the football World Cup will take in winter in the northern hemisphere for the first time. The World Cup normally takes place in the middle of the year, but the exception was made for Qatar. 

In the heart of the Middle East, Qatar has extremely high temperatures that can reach 50 degrees Celsius. Having an event of such magnitude is simply impossible in such conditions. This is why FIFA agreed to move the World Cup from its normal summer period. It will therefore take place between 20 November and 18 December. 

The most expensive World Cup in history

It’s no big surprise that the World Cup in Qatar has been the most expensive for the host country to date. According to one estimation, Qatar has spent more than 200 billion dollars on a range of necessary infrastructure including the construction of stadiums, highways, hotels, etc.

According to the estimations, Qatar will probably receive a record number of visitors to their country from now until the end of the tournament thanks to their location in the center of the world and close to several qualifying nations. 

A World Cup with only 8 stadiums 

Another unique fact about the World Cup 2022: the number of stadiums! There will only be 8 to host the competition’s 64 matches, which is the lowest number of sites for a World Cup in recent years. We have to go back to Argentina in 1978 to find so few stadiums during this event, when they only had 6. 

Of the 8 sites selected, only one has been completely renovated, while the other 7 have been constructed from zero. 

Controversy of air-conditioned stadiums

To solve the problem of the heat, Qatar has made a bold choice. For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup, the stadiums will be completely air conditioned, which will allow supporters to enjoy a comfortable experience while offering good enough conditions for the players to perform on the pitch. A decision that has not been well received by environmentalists. 

Closer stadiums, easier to move

Qatar is a small country. Moving from one place to another will therefore not be a problem, unlike for the previous edition of the World Cup in Russia.

The host cities like Doha, Lusail, Al Wakrah and Al Rayvan are located close to one another. The two stadiums the furthest apart are only 50 kilometers from each other, while the closest stadiums are 1.5km from each other. 

How are the favorites for this World Cup 2022? 

For the first time, all the qualifying nations have already taken part in the football World Cup at least once, except Qatar, who automatically qualified as the competition’s host country. But as usual, some teams stand out more than others. 

During the latest international matches, Brazil lead by Neymar and Argentina lead by Lionel Messi have been getting victory after victory. The Netherlands can also boast being in good shape. 

Germany, Spain, Portugal and Belgium have hit a couple snags during their latest matches, but still have the potential to reach the top

There is increasing doubt about France and England after a series of worrying results. Will the Bleus and the Three Lions find the secret recipe that will allow them to transcend in this big event?  

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