The World Cup draw has been set, although the invitation for this year’s tournament in Qatar has not yet been finalized. However, even now the teams know who, and when, they will play, there are still many questions about how the ball will play in football first season. no World Cup. Here is a primer in the world’s largest sports spectacle.
When is the World Cup?
The tournament opens with four games on November 21 (three days before Thanksgiving in the United States), kicking off 12 days of four games a day. In the coming months, all games will take place in a tight circle of eight stadiums in and around Qatar city Doha, making it the World Cup’s largest. in history.
The last is December 18 – a week before Christmas.
Who are the favorites?
Brazil, France, England and Spain are the top four oddsmakers, followed by other pedigreed groups: Argentina, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Defendants always deserved early, many of them, in fact, as our football writer, Rory Smith, wrote in November, “what would have happened if the winner had been there? has. “
Only eight countries have won the World Cup, after all, and seven on the field again. (Sorry, Italy. See you next time. Maybe.)
Who will be in the United States?
The Americans were more qualified after the absence of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. They land on an attractive team that includes England, Iran and European opponents who will be decided in the June tournament (the winner will be Wales, Scotland or Ukraine).
The United States has knowledge of its two rivals. He tied England in South Africa in 2010 on the way to win their first team, but lost to Iran in 1998 in a match that disrupted politics.
They will hit the ground running as well: the United States will face the winner of the European playoff on November 21, the first day of the tournament, and then play England four days later, Black Friday. A match against Iran on November 29 will close the group stages.
What then? The African team will be paired with the teams advancing from Group A – the division that includes Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal and the Netherlands – in the round of 16.
Wait, they did not play the World Cup in July?
They always have, until Qatar gets it.
Qatar, like other candidates, first asked to hold the contest in its summer window, and brushed off an idea it could not do so with the help of Air conditioning systems that were not available, at the time, were available. According to The Times on Election Day 2010:
“Qatar’s bid has overcome concerns about heating that can reach 120 degrees in the summer. Authorities say they will build air-conditioning facilities, at a cost of $ 4 billion. improve our office and build nine new facilities in the area connected to the subway. “
It took more than four years, but in 2015 FIFA, the world governing body, finally concluded that the Summer World Cup in 120-degree temperatures would bring unnecessary problems (e.g., say, fans and players are dead) and agree to move the tournament to the colder months than November and December.
What about the traditional soccer tournaments back then?
Oh, the group complained. A lot. But they failed.
The transition to winter will affect not only European football and elsewhere, but also the UEFA Champions League, and it will be necessary to start the season before or complete them. later, or both.
The World Cup will also be out of the way for professionals who do not travel to Qatar – less than 800 of the world athletes participate – with a holiday that can extend up to Every two months, once pretournament camps and friendlies and after cup breaks are essential.
Fox Sports, which has paid hundreds of millions of dollars for U.S. rules, should be cut out of a month of football around other popular fall games. overseeing that time of year. Have you heard of the NFL?
How many groups get?
A total of 32. They are divided into eight groups of four in the draw, which specifically does not include anything that arises from the Dead. The top two finishers in each team advanced to the knockout stages of 16. Then, the World Cup was a direct match.
Which country is eligible?
Qatar deserves to be the host, and 28 other groups have joined it. These include most of the largest groups from Europe and South America: England and Germany, Brazil and Argentina, France and Spain.
Canada is in. The United States and Mexico are in it. Ukraine can still go. Russia will not.
Our location is not yet guaranteed. One bought from Europe, where Ukraine’s game against Scotland was postponed by the war. The teams meet in June, with the winner meeting Wales for the final in Europe.
Other entries will come from two tournaments that month: Costa Rica will face New Zealand, Oceania Alive, in a tournament, and Peru, the fifth team from the South. America, will meet a group of Asians, Australia or the United Arab Emirates.
Will Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo go?
Yes and yes.
Argentina, and Messi, qualify for November. But Portugal, and Ronaldo, will have to sweat out the European playoffs after botching his responsibility to reach the final of the group stages.
Who will not be there?
Erling Haaland, for one. (Norway’s not eligible.) Mohamed Salah. (Egypt loses to Senegal on second football penalty in a month.)
Oh, and Italy. But that is not new to them. The Italians miss the 2018 tournament, too. Yes.
When will the game take place?
Qatar is in the same region as Moscow. So whatever you used to get up in the morning (or stay up late) for the 2018 Games will work this time around, too. But it would mean playing football as early as 4 a.m. Eastern, and no later than 2 p.m. Eastern.