A close up on the 2022 World Cup


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Amazing goals were scored unusually frequently.

Ian Humphreys, Staff Writer

Finally after four years, the World Cup is back and instead of being in the summer like it has been in the past, it was played throughout November and December due to the severe desert heat Qatar brings. Overall, the games and various surprising results that this World Cup brought were amazing; however the ongoing controversy and politics were constantly in the way of the game.

The tournament consists of 32 international teams split into eight groups of four teams each. They then play a game against every other team in their group to decide who moves on. Only the top two teams of each group move on to the round of 16, or the knockout stage. This part of the bracket consists of one game between two teams in single elimination form. This continues until there is one country remaining who is named the World Cup champion.

This year’s group stage came with a lot of early upsets. Argentina lost their first game to Saudi Arabia and the USA tied with England. With teams like the USA, Japan and Morocco making it to the knockout stage, many well known teams were eliminated early. Germany and Belgium are among the best teams to be sent home quickly.

The USA had a very good tournament, winning the support of more Americans in their later games. Their games against England and Iran came with a ton of forseen controversy, but ended peacefully and sportsmanlike. After a couple ties and a win, the USA was knocked out by the Netherlands in the round of 16.

All of the early upsets came to an end as Japan, Senegal, Australia and Uruguay were eliminated by more well- known teams in the first single elimination round. Morocco, an upset exception, was the first African team to ever make it to the semifinals, where they lost to Argentina and Croatia finishing just shy of third.

France and Argentina faced off in the final which ended up being an amazing game. Argentina came into the game with energy scoring two early goals in the first half. France didn’t have momentum in the game until they won a late penalty in the 80th minute which Killian Mbappe scored and then he scored another goal just over a minute later.

The game was tied and went into two 15 minute halves of extra time where Argentina scored in the first, and Mbappe for France scored a hatrick (Three goals in one game) in the second half, sending the final to a penalty shootout. In the end, France missed two penalties in the shootout and Argentina came away with the title.

The games of great soccer came with a price. The host country Qatar had political and social backlash to some of their rules. Anti-LGBTQ and other human rights issues were brought to the surface as the tournament began. People would protest and wear pride flags or run onto the field trying to spread their opinion into Qatar. Some people thought they should be vocal against the matter while others thought the protesters were right but shouldn’t interfere and let the World Cup be football, not politics.

Another incident was uncovered about the building of the stadiums in Qatar. Unpaid, unsafe labor was dished out to the people of the country. 37 deaths have been connected to workers building the World Cup stadiums. Unsafe labor instituted a dark cloud over the country and ruined Qatar’s reputation. This issue arose conflict, even bringing slavery into the debate and if that was used.

Overall, this controversial but exciting World Cup was a spectacle for everyone. In four years time, the United States, Canada and Mexico will host it. Games will be anywhere from Mexico City to Kansas and the final will be held in the AT&T stadium in Texas.

Contact Ian Humphreys at [email protected]