2022 FIFA World Cup

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Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, despite not being the most popular sport in North America. Its international popularity demanded the creation of a governing body, which takes the form of FIFA. Football’s global appeal extends beyond attracting the interest of fans around the world. From sponsorship to broadcasting, from club ownership to the origin of its main stars, the game’s reach is universal. According to FIFA publications, there are five billion football fans around the world, with Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa representing the largest fan bases. These fans support their national teams, a “world” club, and sometimes even a particular player.

If you’re wondering what it means, FIFA stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association. Founded in Paris in 1904, it is French for the International Federation of Football Association. The organization makes events like the World Cup possible by enforcing consistent rules at every official event. In addition to the World Cup, they also have events like the Youth Cup and the Women’s World Cup to encourage diversity. FIFA is run democratically. It has a Congress that votes on statutes, elects a president for organization, and decides whether to admit national associations. It is the most prestigious sports organization in the world, which means that it is the governing body for many international soccer tournaments, most notably the World Cup to provide unity among national soccer associations. 


FIFA is not without controversy. During the 2015 FIFA Scandal, US federal prosecutors disclosed cases of corruption by officials and associates connected with FIFA. The arrests centered on the alleged use of bribery, fraud and money laundering to corrupt the issuing of media and marketing rights for FIFA games in America estimated at US 150 million dollars, including at least US 110 million dollars in bribes related to the Centennial Cup of America, an international men’s association football tournament hosted by the United States in 2016.

Held every four years in different countries as host, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be the 22nd running of the competition. Taking place in Qatar from November – December instead of May, June, or July due to Qatar’s intense summer heat and humidity. This year will be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab nation and the second World Cup held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan. This will also be the last with 32 teams participating, slated to increase to 48 teams for the 2026 tournament in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. On May 19, 2022, FIFA announced the list of 36 referees, 69 assistant referees, and 24 video assistant referees for the tournament. And for the first time women referees will referee games at a major men’s tournament. There are 32 nations divided into eight groups of four teams for the group stage round. The two teams with the most points after three group stage games then advance to the first knockout round. Play continues in a single elimination format the rest of the way until a winner is crowned. The winner is awarded a prize money of US 42 million dollars with the runner -up awarded US 30 million dollars.

There are many predictions as to who will emerge as the winner. Some predict France because of their strong forward players in the likes of Mbappe, Dembele, and Benzema. Brazil on the other hand has Neymar, Vinicius Jr., and Raphinha. Argentina with Messi, Di Maria, and Dybala, and Spain has Ansu Fati with midfielders Pedro and Gavi. If France wins, this will be their second consecutive victory after winning the title in 2018. And if Argentina wins, will Messi be finally considered the best player in history since this will be his last World Cup.