Yesterday, the 22nd edition of the most high-profile event on the global sporting calendar, FIFA World Cup, kicked off in Qatar.
Dubbed FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 or simply Qatar 2022, the Mundial runs from November 20 to December 18.
Since its maiden or inaugural tournament in Uruguay from July 13 to 30, 1930, the World Cup has taken place every four years with two interruptions in 1942 and 1946 due to the World War II and each event has recorded something unique or special in its history.
For instance, FIFA easily selected Uruguay as the host nation because that country was going to celebrate the centenary of its first constitution and independence at a time its national team had successfully retained their football title at the 1928 Summer Olympics.
Besides, unlike what happens today, all the matches were played in Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital, at just three stadiums with 10 of them at the Estadio Centenario, referred to as Rimet, a “temple of football”, which was built for the tournament.
Qatar 2022 also has, so far recorded some uniqueness with more to come and this begins with even the number of football showpiece’s edition and year – 22nd edition in the 22nd year of the 21st Century.
The next point is that it is the first time the tournament is being hosted in the Arab world and second time in Asia after the co-hosting by Japan and South Korea in 2002.
Another thing has to do with weather or climate.
When Qatar won the bid in 2010 to host the 2022 World Cup, FIFA expressed concerns over the country’s climate, describing it as “a potential health risk for players, officials, the FIFA family and spectators”, because Qatar’s summer temperatures can soar over 40 C (104 F), and even in the country’s winter time in which the tournament is taking place now, average temperatures in the region are around 24C (75 F) (24C).
Qatar already had plans to overcome the sweltering heat.
Unlike Uruguay which could not have matches on the Rimet in the 1930 Mundial until five days into the tournament due to delays caused by the rainy season, a climate problem, Qatar has been able to escape the climate threat with air-conditioned stadiums powered by solar energy.
Yesterday, the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador was played at air-conditioned Al-Bayt Stadium in al-Khor.
Unfortunately, the hosts
lost the game by 2-0 but that does not take anything from the commendation for Qatar’s preparation for football’s topmost competition and the prestige of being a tiny nation hosting a tournament that brings to one place people from every part and country of the world.
Ghana can make history by first beating Uruguay to atone for their cheating in 2010 that denied the country an achievement on football’s global stage.
Football is a passion and every nation would like its team to show excellence and make a mark at its biggest competition even if it does not win the ultimate.
Therefore, the Ghanaian Times would like Ghanaians everywhere to support and pray for the Black Stars to soar at Qatar 2022.
We hope that there would not be any scandals in officiating and other aspects of the Mundial so that at the end of it all, as Qatar takes praise for incident-free event, the whole world would rejoice at a successful World Cup Qatar 2022.