November is quickly approaching, and with it the world’s foremost sporting event – the 2022 World Cup. The World Cup is a four-yearly competition contested by the world’s national soccer teams (men’s). The 2022 edition will be the 22nd episode of this long-running tournament. The most successful nation is Brazil, who have won it a mind-blowing five times. At the time of writing, France are the current champions, having clinched the 2018 showpiece final. That auspicious 4-2 victory over Croatia in Russia marked the second time the French have won the coveted trophy. The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar from 21 November to 18 December 2022. With an exciting two-month period drawing closer by the day, let’s take a look at some of the eye-catching facts surrounding this year’s championship.
2022 World Cup The Most Expensive Ever
It seems as though the costs of hosting the World Cup increase with each new edition. The 2014 version, held in Brazil, cost the country around $11.6 billion. The subsequent one, Russia 2018, cost roughly $14 billion. That being said, no one could’ve predicted the kind of budget that the preparations in Qatar are taking. The 2022 World Cup will cost Qatar about $200 billion(!). Sheikh Ahmed bin Nasser bin Jassim Al Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to Russia confirmed the figures himself last year, saying:
“Currently, our country has spent about $200 Bn on organizing the tournament. We hope that [our country] will be able to arrange a world championship that the entire globe will be excited about. We want Qatar to always be an advanced state, a kind of locomotive serving as a role model in every way.”
Say Hello To The First Winter World Cup
World Cups are usually held in the months of May/June/July. It has been that way since the inaugural tourney in 1930 – some 92 years ago. However, this year’s edition has moved from those dates to November. The 2022 World Cup will kick off on 21 November, with the final scheduled for 18 December 2022. This shift from the usual mid-year months is due to Qatar’s unique and rather torrid climate. During May/June/July, it can get unbearably hot in the Middle East, with temperatures reaching a scorching 50 degrees Celsius. Playing most sports in such kind of weather would be obviously hazardous. Most athletes would suffer heat stroke. Having the tournament in November will allow them to enjoy much more palatable weather. The other weather safeguard in place is Qatar’s state-of-the-art stadiums, which will feature central cooling! Having to use such avant-garde tech somewhat explains the stupendous budget.
2022 World Cup To Have Fewest Stadiums Ever
This year’s World Cup will have the fewest venues ever in the history of the competition. Qatar is preparing eight stadiums for the tournament and no host has ever had fewer. Interestingly, the country has built seven of these stadiums from scratch, with only one previously existing. The venues, nonetheless, will be nothing short of spectacular. For starters, they will have central cooling as stated above, as well as seating capacities to rival most stadiums in world soccer. For instance, Old Trafford, one of the largest stadiums in the world and home of Manchester United in the English Premier League, has a capacity of 74,140. The Lusail Stadium in Lusail, which will host the 2022 World Cup final, boasts a gross capacity of 80,000. Here are the rest of the stadiums:
- Stadium 974 (renamed from Ras Abu Aboud Stadium) – capacity 40,000 seats
- Al Janoub Stadium – capacity 40,000 seats
- Khalifa International Stadium – capacity 40,000 seats
- Education City Stadium – capacity 40,000 seats
- Al Thumama Stadium – capacity 40,000 seats
- Al Bayt Stadium – capacity 60,000 seats
- Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium – capacity 40,000 seats