FIFA World Cup in Qatar Kicked Off on November 20, 2022


A total of 32 teams in eight groups participate in the 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup. South Korea plans to have Group H matches against Uruguay, Ghana, and Portugal. Image courtesy of Kuwait News.

Jung Chaeyoon, Staff Writer

   The 2022 Qatar World Cup began on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. local time (on Nov. 21, 1 a.m, Korea Standard Time) at the Al Bayet Stadium in Alcor, Qatar, about 43 km from the nation’s capital city of Doha. The first game was between the host country, Qatar, and Ecuador.  

   The 2022 Qatar World Cup takes place from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18, with a total of 32 teams from eight groups, Group A through Group H, participating. In the group league, four games each are played over a 12-day period and each round creates 16 tournaments total. The United States is in Group B along with England, Iran, and Wales. The Republic of Korea will face Portugal, Ghana, and Uruguay in Group H.

   The final match will be held on Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. local time (on Dec. 19, 12 a.m, KST), at the Lusail Stadium in Doha, Qatar. Lusail is a new city that did not exist at the time of the 2022 World Cup hosting selection and was eventually completed in 2021. Qatar has spent more than $220 billion preparing for this event and has built highways, subway systems, new airports, stadiums, and skyscrapers.

   Three weeks before the opening of the World Cup, Son Heung-min, captain of the South Korean national football team and key player of head coach Paulo Bento’s team, suffered a fractured eye socket in the Champions League Group D match against Olympique de Marseille, French professional football club, at Orange Velodrome, Marseille, France. If Son Heung-min is excluded from the World Cup, it is expected that the team will lose a lot of power. Although his surgery was successfully completed, it will be decided whether or not he can participate in the World Cup after he has healed enough to take exercise. South Korea’s national football team will play its first match against Uruguay on Nov. 24 at 4 p.m. local time (on Nov. 24, 10 p.m, KST). They will then take on Ghana on Nov. 28, at 4 p.m. local time (on Nov. 28, 10 p.m, KST) and Portugal on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. local time (on Dec. 3, 12 a.m, KST).

   The 2022 Qatar World Cup is the 22nd FIFA World Cup, the first World Cup to be held in a Middle East Arab region, and the second World Cup held in Asia following the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup. The slogan, “Expect Amazing,” and the emblem commemorates the early winter World Cup with the motif of traditional wool mufflers in the Middle East and mimics the desert waves through curves. The official soccer ball “Al Rihla” means “The Journey” in Arabic and the event is produced by its official sponsor, Adidas.

   The World Cup, which returns after four years, is a cultural festival where citizens from all over the world can meet and enjoy a shared interest in football. Therefore, all of the fans hope that participating players will successfully finish the World Cup successfully and without injury.

The emblem of the 2022 Qatar World Cup describes the early winter games with the motif of traditional wool mufflers in the Middle East, and is shaped like desert waves, representing the host country, Qatar. Image courtesy of FIFA.