Plenty of Firsts in Qatar 2022 World Cup Games


Plenty of Firsts in Qatar 2022 World Cup Games


By the time the 2022 FIFA World Cup is played in Qatar, it will have been 28 years since the U.S. hosted the tournament for the very first time. But the question on many sporting minds these days is whether the U.S. will indeed make the cut, as a team rather than a host, for the 2022 tournament. Here's what you need to know about the 2022 tournament, which will be held from November 21 until December 18 in Qatar, and will be the first such meeting since the COVID pandemic put many world sports competitions on hold.

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Alcohol Will Be Served

MLS fans enjoy their adult beverages, and when Qatar's bid was up, some wondered how vendors would make money in a nation that has extremely restrictive rules pertaining to alcohol consumption. After all, this is the first time the contest will be held in a predominantly Muslim nation. Fortunately, a compromise was struck and fans will be allowed to consume in the stadium during game times.

2022 Will Be the Last 32-Team Competition

It's already been decided that the 2026 games will feature 48 teams for the first time. That means 2022 might be called the end of an era. And again, because everything about this sports league and its grand battle seems to be historic, the 2026 tournament will not only include more teams but will be in a triple-nation venue: the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Previous Locations Have Made History

Putting aside the teams for a moment, it's noteworthy that the FIFA world football/soccer championship often makes major news just for its selection of venues. For instance, the 1994 final game shoot-out in California's Rose Bowl stadium marked the first time the U.S. had ever hosted, beating out Morocco and Brazil for the honor. The powers that be guessed that a U.S.-based World Cup would spur interest in the sport in a nation that had not, until then, been too interested in European football. But the U.S. producers of the competition beat the odds by delivering record-setting revenue and attendance numbers. After that, the nation began its long-awaited development of professional soccer (as the game is called there).

More Qatar Firsts

Set to be perhaps bring in the most impressive televisions ratings ever, Qatar's upcoming FIFA hosting duty means several other firsts. For starters, it will be the only time the scheduled play takes place in such an abbreviated time-frame. The nation's intense summer heat is the reason for that and for moving the games to later in the year. Never has a World Cup been played in months other than May, June, or July.

And never before have fans watched from an air-conditioned outdoor stadium. The host nation is construction a unique stadium that will include massive AC units to keep everyone comfortable throughout the days and nights of competition. Many are wondering is COVID will be completely behind us when the next tournament takes place. After the Tokyo Olympics suffered a delay due to the pandemic, dozens of major global sports tournaments suffered the same fate, so this will be a major test of whether the historic virus have finally abated.