Qatar 2022: The World Cup That Changed Everything
Qatar 2022 is the World Cup that has changed everything for the sport and everything for the country.
Since its inception in 1990, the Confederation of African Football has played second fiddle to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in terms of regional representation, with each country having five representatives. However, Qatar’s 2014 World Cup triumph, as well as its subsequent expansion into Asia and Africa, have raised eyebrows, and Qatar appears in many people’s eyes to be the next great hope for the future of football as a sport across the globe.
However, as things stand, it has a population of just five million, and the vast majority is made up of migrant workers, living conditions and the government’s lack of a strong sense of football. As a result, the country’s fledgling footballing culture has remained very much on the fringe, and the Qatar 2022 World Cup is its chance to take the nation, and the sport, to the next level.
The World Cup would be the first time since 1966 that Asian competition has been represented by more than one confederation. In fact, the first time that Asian and European, as well as African, teams participated together in a World Cup finals was 1998.
However, the current cycle of World Cups has seen three different confederations – the Asian ones, the African ones and the European ones – vie for the right to represent the world and the spotlight.
The Asian confederations were keen to promote their own tournaments by becoming permanent fixtures in the World Cup, but the European federation (along with the Asian federation) declined to add a second tournament to the 2014 World Cup to be contested by the European teams only.
However, the African side of the World Cup had a different story to tell. This was the first time since 1966 that teams from Africa had been able to qualify for the World Cup Finals. This was followed by the Asian side being able to take the European team (for the fifth time in history) and then the African team (for the third time) to the World Cup Finals.
The decision to include Asian teams in the 2014 and Qatar’s 2022 campaign was a no-brainer for all of the confederations that would be represented. The fact that the Asian side was so successful in both the qualifiers for the 2014 and the 2022 tournaments was seen as a positive for the continent, who have been struggling to reach