2022 FIFA World Cup: Openings and Controversies


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One of 8 of the stadiums for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Annie Vogelmann, Managing Editor

After four years, the long-awaited FIFA World Cup is underway. Held in Qatar, this is the 22nd World Cup and officially started on November 20th, 2022. The FIFA World Cup tournament is one of the most popular sports tournaments in the world, supported by billions of viewers from all across the globe. In total, 64 games will be played throughout the tournament, with 32 teams from each continent. 

The opening ceremony happened before the first match, on November 20th, narrated by actor Morgan Freeman and Qatari YouTube star, Ghanim Al Muftah. From South Korea’s K-pop group, BTS, member Jungkook sang his song “Dreamers,” joined on stage by Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi. 

With preparation since 2010, Qatar managed to build 8 stadiums for this year’s World Cup. It was estimated that Qatar spent $220 billion on preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

As for the actual games, the following are the current results of the qualifying rounds (as of November 23rd, 2022):

  • Qatar 0  –  2 Ecuador
  • Senegal 0  –  2 Netherlands
  • England 6  –  2 Iran
  • USA 1  –  1 Wales
  • Argentina 1  –  2 Saudi Arabia
  • Denmark 0  –  0 Tunisia
  • Mexico 0  –  0 Poland
  • France 4  –  1 Australia
  • Morocco 0  –  0 Croatia
  • Germany 1  –  2 Japan
  • Spain 7  –  0 Costa Rica
  • Belgium 1  –  0 Canada

Many students at HHS have created brackets for themselves, guessing which teams will win each match. This year’s spirit for the tournament is significant, as the school has hosted student-run watch parties, organized Google Forms for brackets, and created a large visual bracket of the standings in the HHS cafeteria. 

The biggest upset and shock of these games so far was the match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia. Many fans believed the beloved Lionel Messi and his team, Argentina, would win against Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s FIFA rank was #48: Argentina’s being #3. 

A runner-up to this upset was the Germany vs. Japan game, Germany being the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner where the possibility of them winning was high, but Japan worked hard  the entire game and scored two goals in the second half, winning. 

With Argentina’s first loss in the tournament, many fans eagerly anticipate the results of Brazil and Portugal teams, each with two beloved soccer stars, Neymar Jr. and Cristiano Ronaldo. Senior Owen Burleigh expresses his thoughts on the current standings: “I’m still super shocked about the Argentina game because I want Messi to finally have a chance to win a World Cup. I’m excited to see the England vs USA game.” 

In addition to these upsets within the games, there have been many restrictions in Qatar for the spectators. Namely, two days before the kickoff of the tournament, officials in Qatar announced the alcohol ban in the stadiums of this year’s world cup. The ban infringes upon the role alcohol plays in fans’ celebrations of the World Cup. Additionally, open practice of religions other than Islam, public speech, and clothing are closely monitored and restricted by Qatar authorities. Offenders of Qatar rules are threatened with arrest.

When asked about the controversies in this year’s World Cup, junior Amelia Carlson shared that she “heard that Iran’s team didn’t sing their national anthem.” Indeed, at the start of their match against England, the Iranian team did not sing their national anthem. In doing so, the team supported the anti-government protests currently happening in Iran. To follow along with the 2022 FIFA World Cup, click here.

HHS’s World Cup bracket in the cafeteria continuing to be updated as the games go on. (Annie Vogelmann)