2022 World Cup takeaways

The biggest news surrounding the global soccer tournament


The 2022 FIFA World Cup reached its conclusion on December 18, 2022 with Argentina taking the title as the 2022 World Cup Champion. However, the winning team isn’t the only headline produced by the event. Years before the first game began, concerns arose surrounding the host country of Qatar. In 2010, FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) chose Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, making it the first Middle Eastern country to ever host the event. However, CNN reports: “…the US Department of Justice alleged that bribes were accepted by top officials as part of the voting process to elect Russia and Qatar as the tournament host for the 2018 and 2022 events.” Qatar constructed eight new stadiums to house World Cup games as a result of this vote, regardless of any possible fraudulence. Working conditions at these construction sites have been infamous for almost a decade. Immigrant workers endured incredibly low pay, labor abuse and in many cases death while building eight new stadiums for the World Cup.

“Honestly, it’s really terrible that Qatar is using immigrants to build these stadiums with no regard for their condition,” sophomore Naiya Rodrigues said. “However, in my opinion, the deeper corruption lies in the fact that FIFA selected Qatar to host in the first place.”

Despite these controversies, millions of people still watched the World Cup. FIFA reports the amount of viewers per game precedes those in past World Cups by millions. During the 2022 World Cup, 25 million people watched the final game compared to the 2018 final game having 17 million viewers. Additionally, roughly 5.4 billion people watched the 2022 World Cup in total, approximately 2 billion more than the 2018 World Cup’s 3.5 billion viewers.

“I think nowadays the world is a lot more fractured compared to the way it was in 2018 and people are really searching for a force to bring them together, which they found in the World Cup,” Rodrigues said. “[That’s why] I really enjoy watching soccer because [it can be such a] uniting force in the world. There’s no other sport that’s played in such a high and diverse number of countries.”

The amount of countries allowed to participate is expanding as FIFA announced that during the 2026 World Cup, the number of teams able to qualify will increase from 32 to 48. The 2026 World Cup will also mark the first time the World Cup is hosted by three different countries. These countries include the United States, Canada and Mexico. In America, games will take place in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing all the different people rooting for their teams,” sophomore Kyle Kartchner said. “I may not watch soccer regularly, but I have to watch the World Cup because it’s such high stakes.”