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FIFA World Cup 2022

The Telegraph gets you a lowdown on the FIFA world cup 2022

Here are the essential tit-bits from the upcoming game kicking off in Qatar

Agnideb Bandyopadhyay | Published 21.10.22, 03:25 AM
The official emblem being unveiled at Doha’s Soug Msheireb

The official emblem being unveiled at Doha’s Soug Msheireb

Can anything ever come close to World Cup fever? The four-year wait is often frustrating but the maddening sound of the whistle and the stadium singing the national anthems in unison do make it worth the wait, every time. As the FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks off a month from now, The Telegraph gets you the essential tit-bits in flavoursome anticipation of the first sound of the whistle in Qatar.

The Emblem


According to FIFA, the World Cup 2022 emblem “embodies the vision of an event that connects and engages the entire world, while also featuring striking elements of local and regional Arab culture and allusions to the beautiful game. The curves represent the undulations of the landscape and the desert dunes while the loop represents the symbol of infinity, signifying connection”, while mirroring the shape of the FIFA World Cup trophy and the embroidered details taking inspiration from traditional Arabic shawls.

La’eeb, the official mascot for Qatar 2022

La’eeb, the official mascot for Qatar 2022

The Mascot

Unveiled in April 2022, the official mascot for this year’s World Cup is La’eeb, which, in Arabic, means a super-skilled player. FIFA described it to be from a parallel “mascot-verse” who would be bringing the joy of football to everyone with his infectious joyful spirit. With a welcoming message of ‘Now Is All’, Qatar brought forth La’eeb to hold and spread the spirit of the Cup.

Al Rihla by Adidas, the official match ball for Qatar 2022

Al Rihla by Adidas, the official match ball for Qatar 2022

Official Match Ball

The official match ball for Qatar 2022 is Al Rihla by Adidas, which stands for ‘the journey’ in Arabic. The ball which has been created to support peak game speeds also brings forth the cause of sustainability and is the first FIFA match ball to be made out of water-based inks and glues. According to FIFA, the ball “is inspired by the culture, architecture, iconic boats and flag of Qatar. The bold, vibrant colours set on a pearlescent background represent the FIFA World Cup host country and the ever-increasing speed of the game.”

Teams and Matches

Qatar 2022 will be the last World Cup to feature 32 teams. Representing six continental confederations, the teams start their campaign on November 20, with Ecuador facing hosts Qatar in the opening match of the tournament.

The eight groups have shaped up to look like this:

Group A: Qatar, Ecudaor, Senegal, Netherlands

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Australia

Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

Group G: Brazil. Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, Korea Republic

With Qatar qualifying directly as hosts, the tournament will also have Wales led by the inimitable Gareth Bale come back to the grandest stage after a record gap of 64 years and Canada return after 36 years. However, this edition will also have a few surprising misses, including four-time champions, Italy, who failed to qualify for the second consecutive World Cup, having won the Euro 2020. They became the fourth team to fail to qualify for the World Cup after winning the UEFA European Championship, after Czechoslovakia (1978), Denmark (1994) and Greece (2006). Other surprise misses include Columbia, Chile, Nigeria, Sweden and Egypt. Russia were banned from participation owing to the Ukraine war.

(Clockwise from top left) Lusail Iconic Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Al-Bayt Stadium and Khalifa International Stadium

(Clockwise from top left) Lusail Iconic Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Al-Bayt Stadium and Khalifa International Stadium


2022 is the most expensive World Cup till date, with Qatar building seven stadiums from scratch, while renovating one to organise the entire one-month cornucopia. While the Khalifa International Stadium has been operational since 1976, the new additions include the Lusail Iconic Stadium, having the highest capacity of 80,000, which will be hosting the final. The first match will be held at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. With all the stadiums located within a 60km radius, this becomes the most compactly held World Cup ever.

The Official World Cup Original Soundtrack

The official World Cup Soundtrack will feature four songs bringing together artistes from across the globe, in tune with their spirit of bridging gaps and uniting the world with the spirit of the World Cup. The four tracks include The World is Yours To Take, produced by Lil Baby and Tears for Fears; Arhbo by Ozuna, GIMS and RedOne; Hayya Hayya by Trinidad Cardona, Davido and AISHA, which was the first track to be released; and the most recent addition, Light The Sky by Balqees, Nora Fatehi, Manal and Rahma Riad, celebrating girl power.

Stephanie Frappart

Stephanie Frappart

Qatar 2022 Factfile

It is the first World Cup to be held in the winter, with all stadiums equipped with air-conditioning.

Qatar becomes the only second Asian World Cup host after Japan-South Korea in 2002.

Qatar 2022 will have the fewest stadiums hosting an entire World Cup.

At about 200 billion US dollars in estimates, World Cup 2022 is the most expensive one ever.

Qatar becomes the smallest country to host the World Cup.

Qatar 2022 will be held over a stretch of 28 days with the final taking place on National Qatar Day, December 18.

This World Cup will be the first one to have female referees officiate matches. They are Stephanie Frappart, Yamashita Yoshimi and Salima Mukansanga.

Last updated on 21.10.22, 03:25 AM

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