By Bankole Taiwo
Over the century, There have been 21 editions of the men’s Fifa World Cup since its inception in 1930 but Qatar 2022 is set to be a tournament like no other.
World Cup 2022 is underway in Qatar. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicked off on Sunday November 20 at the Al Bayt Stadium, losing 2-0 to Ecuador in Group A. The final will be played at the Lusail Stadium in Doha a week before Christmas on Sunday December 18.
Back in 2010, the nation Qatar was awarded as the hosting Nation for World Cup back then and ever since then, the Football Organizations of Fifa have spent $220 billion on reconstruction and construction: They built seven huge stadiums and repaired one; a new airport, a metro system, a series of roads and about 100 new hotels. An entire city has been constructed around the stadium which will host the final match.
Qatar is making FIFA history not only because it is a Muslim country or the smallest country ever to host the world’s biggest sporting event, but because lot of other history has been made regarding the hosting of the tournament by Qatar.
Here are some of the top history made by Qatar in the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
1. The first time Qatar men’s national team will participate in a world cup finals.
Ever since the announcement in 2010 as the host city almost 12 years ago, Qatar have always been destined to participate in what is known to be their first World Cup. Historically, This will be the first time the Qatari men’s national team will participate in a World Cup finals, after several attempts and failure to qualify through usual means in the past
According to Fifa sport’s governing body, it is the tradition that a host nation is permitted to take part in a World Cup without having to go through the qualifying rounds, which means the small Gulf state (Qatar) can now test itself against the best in world soccer.
Qatar is relatively new to the sport, having played its first official match in 1970, but the country has fallen in love with the beautiful game and the national team has steadily improved.
2. Qatar became the smallest country to host the world cup
Qatar became the smallest country competing in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and at the same time happens to be the smallest country to ever host the tournament in history, approximately with a population of 2.9 million people. Among the 32 nations participating in this year’s world cup edition, Qatar is the smallest of the 32 countries. The country had never made the World Cup in the event’s 90-plus-year history, but will now be making its debut after its automatic qualification as the hosting Nation.
However, Qatar is not considered among top favorites to win the tournament. In previous Editions, a host country has emerged victorious in the World Cup six times, but the likelihood of Qatar winning it this year is very slim.
3. This year’s world cup also saw female referee’s officiate a men’s world cup match for the first time.
For the first time in history, female referees will be officiating at this year’s men’s FIFA World Cup. Fifa Football’s governing body has selected three women referees to take charge of games in the showpiece event in Qatar. The three women that will be officiating at this year’s World Cups all hail from France, Rwanda and Japan. Let’s take a closer look at who they are and their journeys to the World Cup in Qatar:
Stéphanie Frappart (France)
Stephanie Frappart, age 38, hails from France and has been on the FIFA International Referees List since 2009. She has officiated several important games and also was the first woman to officiate a French Ligue 1 match and a men’s Champions League match.
Salima Mukansanga (Rwanda)
Salima Mukansanga, age 34, has also been an international referee since 2012. She was part of the officials at the 2019 Women’s World Cup that took place in France. She became the first woman to officiate at the men’s Africa Cup of Nations. Also, She officiated games at the Olympics, the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and the Women’s Champions League.
Yoshimi Yamashita (Japan)
Yoshimi Yamashita, age 36, also has been on international duties for quite some time. She has officiated some major games that includes, the Women’s World Cup in 2019 and the 2020 Olympics. She has refereed in each of Japan’s top three leagues, and is the first woman to referee a game in the AFC Champions League – the most prestigious club competition in Asian football.
4. The 2022 world cup is the first world cup hosted by an Islamic country.
By hosting the 2022 World Cup, Qatar become the first ever Muslim and Arab country to host the cup.
5. Qatar set a new record for a total cost of 220 billion Euros, becoming the most expensive world cup.
According to the report by US sports finance consultancy Front Office Sports, estimated a cost of $220 billion while Hassan Al Thawadi, head of the Qatari body tasked with organizing the tournament, says that infrastructure costs since the country was awarded the tournament will exceed $200 billion. It is believed that most of that investment is part of the Gulf state’s wider public investment project, known as Qatar National Vision 2030