By DonaMaria Sfeila
2022 has so far been an unusual year and to add to that, it’s a world cup year in terms of football. What’s more is that the championship itself will be unusual as it is going to be held in November rather than during the summer period of June-July because the stadium is located in Qatar and this country of the gulf region gets pretty hot temperatures. In the meantime and since we’re all waiting for this big event, let’s go through a list of things we need to know about the FIFA World Cup 2022.
First of all, 12 stadiums are set to welcome players from all over the world and fans will get to watch a whopping 65 matches between rival teams!
Second of all, The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will kick off on 21 November 2022. The tournament will take place over 28 days, with the final being held on 18 December 2022, which is Qatar National Day.
Moreover, different stadiums have been under construction since 2010 in preparation for the world cup namely: Khalifa international stadium, Al Janoub stadium, Lusail stadium which will host the opening match and the final…
Interesting piece of information: stadiums are not situated very far away from each other, so, during the group stage fans will be able to attend more than one match! That’s some really exciting news for the football community. In addition, public transport will be free to fans on match days.
Also, if you weren’t aware already, innovation is a big part of the project between Qatar and FIFA. For example, Ras Abu Aboud stadium is made out of shipping containers and will be fully demountable so that it can be transformed time after time and used for various purposes.
Money wise, if you were wondering what the total budget is then the answer is $6.5 billion, it’s a big expense but Qatar is bound to make profits with all it has to offer.
As for the temperatures, not to worry: weather experts say the country will witness a low of 18℃ and a high of 24℃ perfect conditions for everyone who’s taking part in the tournament. Speaking of which, approximately 1.5 million fans are expected to visit Qatar during the big event.
Some handy benefits: Nationals from a total of 80 countries can take advantage of visa-free entry into Qatar.
Other than the cup, you can enjoy a lot of tourist attractions: visiting the National Museum, going on a shopping spree, taking a trip to a natural reserve or archeological sites in the desert, sunbathing at one of Qatar’s many beaches, dune bashing and watersports etc.
By the way, you are allowed to drink alcohol which you can buy from hotels near you and other designated facilities (but be careful and drink responsibly!)
Plus, Qatar is ranked as the safest country in the region, it’s working with international experts such as INTERPOL, the Council of Europe, the UK Home Office, French Gendarmerie and other partners to ensure the safety and security of visitors in 2022.
As for accommodation, fans will have a variety of options that suit every budget, including hotels, apartments, desert camps and cruise ships.
Fans will even have a special ID: following the success of FIFA Fan ID during Russia 2018, Qatar is considering a similar solution for fans during 2022.
However, there is bad news for some fans as many national teams have not qualified for the world cup for many reasons: European Champion Italy will be absent just like in 2018 after losing to North Macedonia. Russia got kicked out because of the ongoing war with Ukraine. Norway and Egypt failed to qualify and Algeria, Ivory Coast, along with Colombia and Chile will be missing out.
In regards to boarding the next plane to Qatar, other than Qatar airways, you can get to Doha by connecting flights available on a wide range of airlines via their hubs: Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, Egyptair via Cairo and Royal Jordanian via Amman.
Ticket wise, there are four types available: Individual Match Tickets (IMTs), Supporter Tickets (STs), Conditional Supporter Tickets (CSTs), and Four-Stadium Ticket series (FSTs).
Pro tip, if you’re going to Qatar beware because there’s a dress code even if it’s hot outside. According to the Qatar Tourism Authority: “Visitors (men as well as women) are expected to show respect for local culture by avoiding excessively revealing clothing in public. “It is generally recommended for men and women to ensure their shoulders and knees are covered.
All in all, whether you actually make it to the biggest sporting event of the year or you decide to just sit back and relax while streaming it on TV, make sure to show your favored team some support, grab a drink and some snacks and enjoy!
Tell us who’s your favorite team in the comments down below, we’re curious to know!