The 2022 Qatar World Cup


(Photo used under SPCL guidelines)

Elias Zell

Every four years, nations from around the globe come together to compete in the largest soccer tournament in the world. Teams are put into 6 groups of four and then the top two teams in each group advance to a 16-team knockout round. The field is then whittled down to the final two teams who play in the World Cup final to determine the best nation in the world. This year, the World Cup is being hosted by Qatar, making it the first Arab country to do so. The favorites for this tournament are France led by Mbappe, Spain led by the young midfield duo of Gavi and Pedri, Argentina led by Messi, Brazil led by Neymar, and England led by Harry Kane.  

The tournament had originally been awarded to Qatar in December 2010 but was subject to lengthy controversies before finally being accepted as the host nation. Qatar was chosen out of a group of several countries which included Australia, Japan, South Korea, United States, Netherlands and Belgium. Many questioned why such a small and wealthy nation with no prior history of hosting global sporting events was chosen as the successful bidder for this prestigious tournament. The selection of Qatar as a host presents both opportunities and problems. On one hand, it provides a powerful platform for the country to show off the massive amounts of wealth accumulated through its oil fields. It is estimated that Qatar spent well over 220 million dollars building the infrastructure necessary to host the tournament; more than the cost of the previous 19 World Cups combined. On the other hand, serious human rights concerns regarding how laborers are treated have been widely reported. Although Qatar released a statement saying that only three migrant workers died while working toward the World Cup, there have been reports claiming over 6,500 people lost their lives due to the working conditions. 

We surveyed CHS students about who they’re supporting and who they think to win. The vast majority of students are supporting the US for many reasons ranging from “Because it’s my home country” to “Because all other nations are inferior, go freedom and Christian Pulisic.” However, when it comes to who students think will win, responses vary. France is a top choice with solid evidence backing them up such as “France is him and they have baguettes” and “France because Allez Les Bleus.” Another favorite is Brazil because, as many students noted, they have the strongest roster heading into the World Cup and they are in great form. One team you can never count out is Argentina as they are led by Messi, and have one of the best squads going to Qatar.  

 Regardless of who wins this year’s tournament, it’s important to remember and honor the lives lost in making the stadiums and other infrastructure necessary to host the world’s biggest soccer competition.