Last updated on December 10th, 2022 at 06:33 pm
World Cup 2022 is here! 32 teams from 31 countries are competing in the world’s biggest football fiesta in Qatar started on Sunday, November 20 and will come to an end on Sunday, December 18, 2022.
The host country, Qatar, was defeated in the opening, becoming the first host of FIFA World cup to lose an opening match.
At least five billion football fans and enthusiasts around the world are expected to stay glued to their TV screens to watch live matches.
Whether you are a football fan or not, there are quick facts about the 31 participating countries in the global football event that would interest you.
Two Teams from the UK
The 32 teams that will compete for laurels at the Qatar 2022 World Cup are from 31 countries: one team for a country, but the United Kingdom has changed that narrative.
The UK is made up of England, Wales, Scotland, and North Ireland. England and Wales made it to the competition, meaning 32 teams will stand in for 31 countries in Qatar.
Both teams are in Group B alongside Iran and the United States of America, but only one will advance to the quarter-finals because they are both in Group B.
Prior to D-day, 206 out of 227 countries fought to make it to the 2022 World Cup, but only 32 teams qualified.
Since 1930, World Cups were cancelled two times – 1942 and 1946 – because of World War 11.
Qatar, a Middle East country, as the host country automatically qualified. It is a tradition for host countries to get guaranteed slots.
From the winners of the World Cup from 1930 to date to the population figure and growth rate of the participating countries, here are the interesting facts about FIFA World Cup event dubbed Qatar 2022:
1) Qatar is the smallest country by area to ever host the biggest football competition in the history of the FIFA calendar. Qatar’s total area is 11, 571 square meters.
The largest, the United States – 9,833,520 km2– is more than 849 the size of Qatar.
The former FIFA President who spearheaded the body that handed the hosting to Qatar was later quoted as saying he regretted his role in the process.
“Qatar is a small country. Football and World Cups are for big countries,” Marca.com quoted Blatter as saying.
2) Qatar is the first Arabian country to host FIFA World Cup.
3) Only eight countries have won the 21 previous World Cups. They are Uruguay, Italy, France, Brazil, Germany, England, Argentina, and Spain.
4) Of all the previous winners, Brazil holds the highest number of FIFA World Cup titles, winning five previous editions of the soccer fiesta.
|Country||Year of wins|
|Brazil||1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002|
|Germany||1954, 1974, 1990, 2014|
|Italy||1934, 1938, 1982, 2006|
5) All the previous winners of the FIFA World Cup except Italy are competing in the 2022 edition. Italy did not qualify.
Host countries that have won
Host countries have won six times:
And in 1998, France was the host, defeating Brazil 3-0 in the finals.
6) Thirteen teams competed in the first FIFA World Cup in Uruguay 1930. The host won the competition.
7) Before the next edition of the competition, the world football governing body, Fédération internationale de Football Association, had agreed to increase the number of teams from 13 to 16. As such, f From 1934 to 1978, 16 teams participated.
8) Again, from 1982 to 1994, the number climbed to 24 teams. A similar decision was taken and from 1998 to 2022, the number increased to 32 teams.
In 2026, FIFA, the international football governing body, plans to increase the number to 48 teams.
9) Europe has hosted the men’s international association football more than any other continent. Europe has hosted the FIFA world cup 11 times out of 22 editions. The 2022 FIFA World Cup holding in Qatar is the 22nd edition
10) South America comes second, which has hosted the competition five times.
11) North America is third, having hosted it three times
12) Asia has hosted the FIFA World Cup two times.
13) The first Asian country or countries to host the FIFA World cup was South Korea/Japan 2002.
14) Qatar is the second Asian country to host the men’s 4-year soccer festival.
15) The only time FIFA World was hosted by an African country was 2010 in South Africa between June 11 to July 11, 2010.
16) Out of the seven continents in the World, FIFA World Cup has never been held in two: Oceania (or Australia) and Antarctica
If the FIFA world is going to be taken to every continent, it isn’t going to be Antarctica because it is the only continent that has no permanent human habitation, according to nationalgeographic.org. For now, Antarctica is basically used for scientific research.
Maybe FIFA would take soccer experiments to Antarctica one day, we just have to wait till that day.
17) Brazil’s Edson Arantes do Nascimento popularly known as Pelé is the only player who has three World Cup caps, winning medals with the men’s national team (Seleção Canarinha) in 1958, 1962, and 1970.
Pelé who was later appointed as Brazil’s Minister of Sports is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
18) Brazil is the only country/team that has never missed a single FIFA World Cup since the start of the competition in 1930. Out of 21 world cups, the country has won five titles, the highest title holder.
19) Germany has competed in 19 World Cups and won four titles.
20) Italy, the only previous winners that missed out of Qatar 2022, has competed in 18 World Cups, winning four titles.
21) Cameroon is the first African country to reach the quarter-final stage of the FIFA World Cup in Italy 1990.
22) The United States which is the most populated country at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, has never won the title; the U.S has competed in 11 World Cups. It only finished third in the first World Cup in 1930.
23) The host country Qatar is the least populated with 2,508,182 while the U.S has the highest population with 337,341,954 among countries participating in the event.
24) No African country has ever won the FIFA World Cup
25) Since its inception, no country from Africa has ever reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup, and only three countries – Cameroon (1990), Ghana (2010), and Senegal (2002) – qualified for the quarter-final stage.
26) The first goal-scorer in Qatar 2022 World Cup is Enner Valencia (full name: Enner Remberto Valencia Lastra).
Valencia scored two times in the first half. Though his earlier goal was disallowed for offside, the Ecuadorian captain netted his first at 16’ through a penalty while a header in the 31st minute gave his side the lead.
27) Ecuadorian national team “La Tricolor (The Tricolors)” was the first team to score in the 2022 FIFA World Cup courtesy Enner Valencia, the team captain. The Ecuadorian team scored against the host country Qatar at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
28) Qatar is the first host country of the FIFA World Cup to lose an opening match. Qatar 0 – Equador 2.
29) Poland international player Robert Lewandowski scored his first-ever FIFA World Cup goal on Saturday, November 26, 2022, as Poland beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 in their Group C FIFA 2022 World Cup second match in Qatar.
30) For the first time in FIFA’s history, a men’s World Cup match will feature an all-female officiating crew. The women referees are Stéphanie Frappart (centre referee), Neuza Back (assistant), and Karen Diaz Medina (assistant)
31) On Saturday, December 10, 2022, Morocco became the first African country to reach the semis of the World Cup after Yousesef En-Nesyri header in the 42nd minute of play. The 1-0 over Christian Ronaldo’s Portugal ended Ronaldo’s side in the Qatar 2022.
Already, some teams have arrived in Qatar ahead of the kickoff on Sunday.
Which is favorite to win World Cup 2022?
What other facts do you find interesting about FIFA World Cup 2022 that are not included in this compilation?