The World Cup has come and gone in a flash, cramming 64 matches into 29 days across eight venues in five cities in Qatar. Lionel Messi had the final say, leading Argentina to victory in the final, but what were the other highlights of a furious tournament? JOHNNY EDWARD In this report he writes about what the first World Cup in the Middle East will be remembered for
The first World Cup in the Middle East
The Qatar showpiece marks the first time a FIFA World Cup has been staged in the Middle East, in what will be a landmark moment for sport in the region.
Having just emerged from the postponed Euro 2020 and Tokyo Olympics last year, it offered sports fans an escape from years of COVID-19 misery.
FIFA described it as a “special and unique” event for the country, which has left a deep legacy for Qatar, the region and the world at large.
It has been reported that the Arab nation has spent more than 220 billion dollars to organize the mega event. Eight stadiums were used to host the matches, some of which were built from scratch, while others underwent major renovations.
While Kylian Mbappe has reached two World Cup finals at the age of 23, Lionel Messi was unstoppable, and at 35, the world may have seen him on the world stage for the last time. Messi, playing in his fifth World Cup, scored twice in the final and also converted a penalty in the shootout. He won the Golden Ball of the tournament – given to the best player – after scoring seven goals.
A Moroccan fairy tale
The North Africans surprised everyone by reaching the finals, becoming the first African team to do so in the tournament’s history.
Expect some Moroccans to make big moves. French President Emmanuel Macron took notice of Sofyan Amrabat, who plays for Italy’s Fiorentina, when he visited his dressing room after the 2-0 semi-final defeat by France and called him “the best midfielder in the tournament”. .
Amazing from Cameroon
There were quite a few David and Goliath situations. Cameroon became the first African team to beat Brazil at the World Cup, but that was after 51st-ranked Saudi Arabia pulled off one of the biggest upsets by beating winners Argentina 2-1. Other notable upsets included Japan’s 2-1 win over Germany, who were eliminated in the group stage, and Tunisia’s 1-0 win over France, but it was not enough for the North Africans to progress through the group stage.
Women referees make history
For the first time in history, female referees officiated matches in a major men’s tournament. Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga, France’s Stéphanie Frappart and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita were the first female referees appointed at the men’s World Cup.
The death of three journalists
Three journalists died in the contest in Qatar. Grant Wahl, an American journalist, died after collapsing while covering the Argentina-Netherlands match. The circumstances surrounding his death are unclear. Qatari photojournalist Khalid al-Misslam was the second journalist killed during the tournament. His death occurred on November 21 and was announced on ITV’s own broadcast before the Wales-USA match. A third journalist to die at the World Cup in Qatar was Roger Pearce, technical director of ITV Sport.
World Cup schedule
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will enter a new frontier, with Qatar given the honor of becoming the first nation in the Middle East to host the global football showpiece. While this is great news for the region, it has also highlighted the global spotlight on the country’s human rights record, and alarming reports of the number of workers who have died to make it happen.
Eto’o’s crazy moment
Cameroon FA president Samuel Eto’o made headlines for all the wrong reasons. He had to apologize for a “violent altercation” with an Algerian supporter after the match between Brazil and South Korea on 5 December.
Death of workers, human rights record
Qatar’s World Cup has been mired in controversy, including the country’s treatment of migrant workers, its human rights record and its stance on homosexuality.
Amnesty International reports that since 2010, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers have suffered human rights violations while working to build infrastructure for the tournament.
A 2021 Guardian report said more than 6,500 migrant workers had died working at sites in Qatar, although local officials disputed the numbers.
Qatar has also been criticized for criminalizing homosexuality, and teams around the world – including the Socceroos – have spoken out in support of LGBTQIA+ rights.
The past few months have been nothing to write home about for one of the greatest players of all time. Ahead of the tournament, the Portuguese star was dropped by Manchester United after a controversial interview, and things didn’t get any better in Qatar. Portugal was eliminated in the round of 16 by Morocco, and Ronaldo was in the hot seat.
Injuries…and more injuries
The 2022 World Cup was robbed of witnessing the best players in the world right now. It is not unusual for players to withdraw due to injury, but the fact that Qatar 2022 is only mid-season (November-December) June-July presented a major challenge as players continued to withdraw after sustaining injuries while playing for their team. respective clubs. Senegalese star Sadio Mane was one of those players, with Karim Benzema (France) winning the Ballon d’Or.
The judge has been sent home
Spanish referee Mateu Lohaz was sent home after receiving 15 yellow cards, including two penalties, during the World Cup quarter-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands. To be fair, 48 fouls were the most ever recorded in a World Cup match.