What You Need to Know about the 2022 World Cup

World Cup 2018 may have just ended, but some of us are already looking forward to the next tournament in four years. Well, four years may seem a bit of a long time and a lot of things could happen, but it wouldn’t hurt if you arm yourself with everything you need to know about the most prestigious soccer tournament in the world.

So grab a pen and paper and list down everything you need to know about World Cup 2022.

When is the Event?

Unlike most previous World Cups where they were played during summer season, 2022 World Cup would be different. Considering the weather in Qatar, temperature could go as high as 50C during summer months. The next tournament will stray away from tradition and will not be playing during summer.

Swap your t-shirts and shorts into leather boots and jackets since the next World Cup will be held in a winter. Bundle up and brace yourself with excitement and anticipation as you wait for favorite team showcase their prowess.

It may not be the first “winter World Cup” since tournaments in southern hemisphere countries have all been held during winter months (such as Uruguay, July 1930, Chile, May 1962 and South Africa, June 2010) but it’s the only tournament that takes place as late in the year.

The tournament will commence on November 21 2022, while the final will be played on December 18, 2022 which coincides with Qatar National Day. It does not fully escape the scorching heat since temperature that time can still go up to around the 30C mark.

Several European national leagues have stated that they will make necessary changes or adjustments to fit with the World Cup programme. For example, England 2022/23 Premier League season is said to begin one month early in July with a break at the end of the year to accommodate Qatar 2022.

Where is it?

The 22nd edition of the Fifa World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar. Not only does it break tradition from being played in the summer, it also makes history as the first football’s biggest tournament held in the Middle East, and in an Arab and a Muslim-majority country.

Qatar is one of the world’s smaller countries at 11,586 sq km, occupying a smaller area than the US state of Connecticut or the UK’s Falkland Islands. It’s also the smallest country to host the 88-year-old tournament.

How to Get a Ticket?

Unfortunately, you can’t book a ticket as early as now. You have to lengthen your patience and wait for a few more years.

The tickets for the 2018 World Cup were not released until September 2017. It’s more likely that ticket for the next World Cup will be available until 2021 at the earliest.

So for the meantime, sit back, relax and breathe in the memorable experiences of the last World Cup. Click here for the best moments of 2018 World Cup.

Issues and Controversies Around 2022 World Cup

  • Budget and Expenses

Qatar has made an announcement that in preparation for the World Cup, it is building eight stadiums with every one of them air-conditioned. Hassan Al Thawadi, the secretary general of the SCDL, told CNN that the total spending would be between $8bn and $10bn, with most of the money earmarked for stadiums and training grounds.

This budget is said to be cut down by up to 50% in order to “ensure financial responsibility”.  Thawadi added that the fall in oil prices does not have anything to do with this budget cut. The budget does not cover the cost for mega-schemes such as the Doha Metro and extensive road development program. When we take these projects into account, it is said that Qatar will spend about $500m a week on the games.

The $10bn cost of the Qatar tournament is $5bn less than the bill for Rio in 2014 and about the same as the cost of Russia’s 2018 tournament.

  • The Abuse of Migrant Workers

Qatar is in the headlines for heavy criticism from NGOs and human rights groups on how they treat the migrant workers building its stadiums. Allegedly, these workers are not only having poor living conditions but they are also forced to long working hours in a scorching heat.

Many of these workers are immigrant of South Asia and it’s been reported that several workers have suffered from on-site accidents and falls. There were even reported cases of workers dying from heart attack.

In addition, half of the 10 contracting companies failed to give their employees any days off per week. Some of the workers have even worked for a straight 148 days which equals to five months without a day off. The report also found that 85% of employed workers were afraid of raising the issue regarding their welfare for the fear of being fired.

To address these issues, Doha opened the Gulf region’s first office for the International Labour Organisation and signed several agreements. This does not stop the critics from voicing out ongoing abuses and workers complaining about unpaid wages among other issues.

  • Alcohol Ban

You can hardly imagine a sports tournament without some alcohol involved. A cup of beer has always been linked with soccer games. World Cup football fans enjoyed their alcohol at Russia 2018 to the point that some breweries failed to meet the excessive demand.

Sadly, it will be a different story for the next World Cup. Drinking alcohol in public places is not only prohibited in Qatar, it is also considered a crime. Doha has agreed to make necessary arrangements for the World Cup though. It has set up “specific faraway places” for people to enjoy their alcohol. You can only drink alcohol in controlled sites that are extremely far away from stadiums.

This one of the biggest soccer tournament will seem to be bigger. Qatari officials have stated that they are thinking of introducing 48 teams for the 2022 World Cup, although this has not been confirmed yet. Regardless of the ongoing issues and controversies, nothing could stop the World Cup from happening in Qatar.

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