World Cup 2022: Tournament in Qatar set to get underneath manner

Argentina shirts are by far the most well-liked selection of package on present in Doha
Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Protection: Dwell on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Dwell, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport web site and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull protection particulars

After 12 years of questions, criticisms and conjecture, the Fifa World Cup in Qatar will lastly get underneath manner on Sunday.

The build-up to the primary match to be held in a Muslim nation within the Center East has been overshadowed by quite a few controversies.

However Fifa has requested all 32 competing nations to “focus on the football” and hosts Qatar will kick off the match towards Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium (16:00 GMT).

The house nations which have certified are in the identical group and in motion the next day, with England up towards Iran (13:00), earlier than Wales play USA (19:00).

BBC Sport seems on the record of controversies, the thrill constructing on the bottom in Qatar, and who may win the World Cup.

What have been the controversies?

Qatar 2022 will go down as probably the most talked about and controversial World Cups in historical past.

The Gulf nation defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and america to host the match, however there have been allegations of widespread corruption within the course of, which Qatar have all the time denied.

In February 2021, the Guardian mentioned 6,500 migrant employees from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died in Qatar because it received its World Cup bid.

The quantity relies on figures offered by the international locations’ embassies in Qatar.

Nonetheless, the Qatar authorities mentioned the full was deceptive, as a result of not all of the deaths recorded had been of individuals engaged on World Cup-related initiatives. The federal government mentioned its accident data confirmed there have been 37 deaths amongst labourers at World Cup stadium building websites between 2014 and 2020, solely three of which had been “work-related”.

Nonetheless, the Worldwide Labour Organisation (ILO) mentioned that was an underestimate.

There have been fears over how LGBT followers can count on to be handled given the nation’s strict adherence to Sharia Legislation, with homosexuality unlawful in Qatar.

Organisations participating with Fifa over the match have mentioned “progress has been slow” and “issues of concern” stay.

UK Pleasure organisations have known as on bars and venues to not display screen World Cup matches in a boycott of the match.

Gamers have been urged to make use of their affect to talk up in regards to the points within the nation and at a information convention in Doha on Thursday, England defender Conor Coady mentioned “we’re not politicians”.

The Everton defender added: “We’ll never be politicians in terms of the way we look at things but, in terms of what the squad has done over the last few years and how much they’ve helped people, that comes with the territory.”

Sepp Blatter, who was the president of Fifa and the person who introduced the awarding of the match to Qatar in 2010, mentioned final week that call was a “mistake”.

On the day earlier than the match, Fifa president Gianni Infantino accused the West of “hypocrisy” in its reporting about Qatar’s human rights report.

In an extraordinary monologue at a information convention in Doha, Infantino spoke for practically an hour and made a passionate defence of Qatar and the match.

Temperatures in the summertime usually attain 50C right here, which is why the match was moved for the primary time to a ‘winter’ slot, although it’s nonetheless a balmy 32C through the day and a pleasing 22C within the night.

It has meant European leagues have been dropped at a halt mid-season, with the opening sport going down only a week after the final Premier League match between Fulham and Manchester United.

Three months out from kick-off, the Fifa council permitted a request from the South American confederation Conmebol to maneuver the beginning of the match a day sooner than deliberate.

And simply two days earlier than the occasion, organisers introduced followers wouldn’t be capable of buy or devour alcohol inside or throughout the perimeter space of any of the eight stadiums.

At 29 days from begin to end (20 November to 18 December), this will probably be the shortest World Cup since Argentina 1978.

Meaning organisers have needed to schedule 4 video games most days through the group phases and there’s no turnaround time between the teams and the knockout phases, with the final 16 beginning the day after the group phases finish.

What’s going to the expertise be like for supporters?

A rustic which has a inhabitants of lower than three million, Qatar expects to see a complete inflow of about 1.2 million guests from all over the world over the subsequent month.

At a briefing final month, Fifa mentioned practically three million tickets had been offeredexternal-link for the match, with the host nation topping the record of nations with the very best variety of tickets at 37% of gross sales.

Travelling across the capital of Doha within the days earlier than the opening sport, the excitement is palpable with bunting with flags from every competing nation lining the streets.

Argentina shirts are by far the most well-liked selection of package on present, principally emblazoned with ‘Messi 10’ on the again. Lionel Messi – one of many match’s star sights – performs for Qatari-owned Paris St-Germain.

The nation has spent billions on upgrading its infrastructure and the roads are already busy with locals and supporters from neighbouring Saudi Arabia anticipated to drive throughout the border. Fifa shuttle buses could be seen whizzing up and down the streets.

The metro carriages had been quiet early within the week however there was actual congestion on the Friday and Saturday, the weekend days in Qatar. Questions stay as to how the system will address the arrival of tens of 1000’s of followers for every of the 64 video games.

“It is going to be tough,” an attendant at one of many stations instructed BBC Sport. “The smaller stops should be OK but it is going to be tough at the ones where stadiums are located. There are four matches a day so it will be extremely busy.”

The Fan Pageant at Al Bidda Park has vibrant, vibrant lights illuminated overhead, with music pumping out at a close-by efficiency stage – although that is halted for a few minutes when the Adhan (name to prayer) is heard from close by mosques.

Alcohol can’t be consumed in public within the Muslim nation, however this rule has been relaxed just a little for the match as followers can buy a beverage in restricted areas such because the fan park, although a pint will set you again £12.50.

Who will win the World Cup?

Brazil haven’t received the World Cup since 2002 and are, the truth is, the final non-European crew to raise the trophy.

Statisticians Opta have crunched the numbers and their prediction mannequin says Tite’s males are favourites to go all the way in which for a record-extending sixth time.

However Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina have the second-highest chance of being champions for the third time, coming into the match on the again of a 36-game unbeaten run.

Gareth Southgate’s England have hit a poor run of kind on the unsuitable time, winless of their final six video games as they give the impression of being to take one step farther from reaching the semi-finals 4 years in the past.

Wales, who’re in the identical group, have certified for the match for the primary time since 1958 and will probably be aiming to achieve the knockout stage once more. That 12 months they progressed to the quarter-finals earlier than narrowly being overwhelmed by eventual winners Brazil.

BBC Sport pundits have had their say with seven going for Brazil to win it, three for Argentina, two saying France will retain their trophy and just one plumping for England.

A rising harm record

We misplaced one of many largest stars on the eve of the match, with France striker Karim Benzema dominated out late on Saturday after sustaining a thigh harm in coaching.

Senegal ahead Sadio Mane will even not be seen on the pitches in Qatar. The ex-Liverpool frontman has had surgical procedure on a knee harm he sustained taking part in for Bayern Munich simply 10 days earlier than the opening sport.

Benzema and Mane joins gamers together with Paul Pogba (France), Timo Werner (Germany), Reece James (England), Diogo Jota (Portugal) and Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina) who miss out by harm.

Manchester Metropolis striker Erling Haaland and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah are two of the largest gamers who will not be in motion as their international locations didn’t qualify.

How you can observe on BBC…

The BBC is your vacation spot for protection 24 hours a day, seven days every week – with 33 matches televised reside in addition to reside commentary on all 64 video games on BBC Radio 5 Dwell.

Wales versus England will probably be proven completely reside on the BBC, alongside England’s opening sport towards Iran and Wales’ essential tie towards Carlos Queiroz’s facet.

With reside video streaming of BBC Sport’s video games and reside commentary of each match on the BBC Sounds app, followers can observe the drama throughout any system.

Followers will be capable of watch highlights of each match and all of the targets on TV, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport web site.

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