9 Things To Know Before You Watch the World Cup


USA vs. Wales ends in a tough 1-1 tie after a goal in the 82nd minute by Gareth Bale. (The Washington Post)

  • The World Cup.

In case you’re clueless, the World Cup is an international soccer competition where 32 teams from countries across the globe compete for the ultimate title of honor once every four years. It’s the world’s most-watched sporting event. 

  • The location. 

The 22nd World Cup will take place in the country of Qatar, making this the Middle East’s first world cup. Qatar won the bid in 2010, although it was later discovered that certain members of the deciding FIFA Executive Committee were paid off by the nation. 

  • The controversy.

The issues with the Qatar 2022 World Cup are multifaceted. Qatar claims to have worker-friendly labor rules; however, the workers who constructed the stadiums — primarily migrants — worked under horrific conditions, such as incredibly long hours, extreme heat, and repeated threats from employers. One worker even reported that his boss stole his passport and withheld it so he would not be able to go home, forcing him to work in Qatar. Laborers have extremely limited control over their own lives: eight people can be forced into one small room, employers frequently withhold workers’ salary, and workers are prevented from making a bank account to save their already disproportionately low earnings. These circumstances have led to thousands of uninvestigated deaths. Organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reported severe violations of both Qatari law and FIFA’s Workers’ Welfare Standards. Critics have even labeled the situation as “modern slavery.”

  • The rules.

Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, exercises power over Qatar’s government and population. In Qatar, there are no political parties, and most people who live in Qatar are not Qatari citizens and therefore do not have civil rights. Homosexuality is considered a crime, although FIFA and Qatari officials have proclaimed that LGBTQ+ fans who travel to Qatar will be allowed within the stadiums. Women also have limited rights due to Qatar’s male guardianship system, which forces women to be dependent on permission from a male relative to perform basic daily tasks. Commonalities of the World Cup such as partying, drinking, and hook-up culture might even result in a large fine or even jail time, although Qatar’s policy with World Cup fans remains to be seen. 

  • The date.

Currently, the World Cup is scheduled to occur from November 20 to December 18. This is partially due to Qatar’s intense heat, which prevents players from practicing in the summer. Average highs are still expected to be in the 70-80 degree range, and AC had to be built in all the stadiums at a very high cost. 

  • The U.S. team.

Our team has strong players this year, but our odds of winning the World Cup, as with any World Cup in the past, are not high. Captain Christian Pulisic, aka. “The Lebron James of Soccer,” looks to lead his team out of the group stage in his first World Cup, alongside other stars such as Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, and Brendan Aaronson. While the U.S., in terms of young talent, is on the rise, with youth might come inexperience and a lack of team chemistry. Gregg Berhalter’s ability to manage a World Cup squad has been called into question. In any case, Group B figures to be a gauntlet for the U.S., with both England and Wales seeded higher. 

  • The other teams to look out for.

This World Cup is special because there is no single frontrunner. Not every team has a completely equal shot, but the majority of the teams can compete with the best. Brazil is continuing to show success as a national team, but was just beaten by Argentina in a recent match. France, the defending champion, is also predicted to excel, along with England and Belgium.

  • The players to look out for.

This may be the last time we see renowned players like Lionel Messi, representing Argentina, and Christiano Ronaldo, representing Portugal, in the World Cup. Despite his young age of 20, up-and-comer Giovanni Reyna might be the X-factor for the U.S. team this year. Neymar Jr. will continue to headline for Brazil, while Mbappe and the French squad look to defend their World Cup title.

  • The way to watch.

You can use fuboTv for free which will be streaming every World Cup match live. Fox and Telemundo will also be airing games.