The abbreviation FIFA stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association. It is a non-profit organization which calls itself as an international governing body of football association. It is the highest authority with relation to Football Association, Futsal, e-Football and Beach Soccer.
The organization was founded 116 years ago, i.e. in 1904. Its headquarters situated in Zurich, Switzerland. FIFA Men’s World-Cup is the most famous of all the competitions governed by the federation.
FIFA organized every fourth year. The current format involves a qualification phase which takes place over the preceding three years. The qualifiers held to determine which 32 teams will play the World Cup. However, The host country is automatically qualified for the event.
Seventeen countries have hosted the World Cup. Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, and Mexico have each hosted twice. In contrast, Uruguay, Switzerland, Sweden, Chile, England, Argentina, Spain, the United States, Japan and South Korea (jointly), South Africa, and Russia have each hosted once.
Qatar will host the 22nd edition of FIFA World Cup. The event dated from November 21 to December 18. It marks the first World Cup that will not happen in May, June, or July. This will be the first-ever cup to be held in any Arab nation. The overall time frame of the Tournament would reduce to 28 days.
Accusations of corruption have made relating to how Qatar won the right to host the event. A FIFA internal investigation and report cleared Qatar of any wrongdoing. Michael J. Garcia, the Chief Investigator, reported his inquiry as “materially incomplete and erroneous”.
In addition to this, Qatar has faced intense criticism due to the treatment of foreign workers involved in preparation for the World Cup, with Amnesty International referring to “forced labour” and stating that hundreds of thousands of migrant workers have died as a result of human rights abuses, and careless and inhumane work conditions, despite worker welfare standards drafted in 2014.
FIFA World Cup qualification
The FIFA qualifiers is a series of matches played by countries from all over the world. There is no restriction for 210 member associations for entering a Qualifier Tournament. The series of matched determines 31 of the 32 teams that will finally feature in the World Cup. The 32nd country is automatically the Host itself.
Qualifiers for 2022 tournament opened in June 2019. Unlike previous games, They agreed that there would be no general preliminary draw, with various ties to be held separately due to different timelines used by each confederation. The pandemic, however, has caused a lot of delays in the qualification process.
For the first time after the initial two tournaments of 1930 and 1934, the World Cup will be hosted by a country whose national team has never played a finals match before.
Russia suffered a ban by the World Anti-Doping Agency back in 2019. The ban is eligible for four years. RUSADA was found non-compliant for handing over manipulated lab data to investigators. Hence, the quaternary ban from all major sporting events reportedly imposed on them.
However, the Russian national team was still allowed to enter the qualifiers as the ban only includes the final Tournament to decide the world champions.
If Russia were to qualify, Russian footballers could still potentially compete at the Tournament, pending a decision from FIFA. However, a team representing Russia, which uses the Russian flag and anthem, cannot participate under the WADA decision.
Two of the opening rounds of this season will serve as qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. This is the reason Qatar will participate in the qualifiers. However, they will only feature in the first two rounds since more than that is unnecessary.
Let us have a look at the qualification structure:
- First Round: Twelve teams, ranging from rank 35 to 46, play home-and-away over two legs. This means that there will be a competition between two teams comprising of two matches or ‘legs’. The winning team, then determined by the aggregate score of the two played legs. Six winners from this round advance to the nec=xt.
- Second Round: Forty teams, ranging from rank 1-34, divide into eight groups. Each group consists of five teams. These teams then play home-and-away matches. This selection happens through a Round-Robin tournament. A Round-Robin contest is a type of competition in which each contestant has to compete with all of the other participants. A round-robin contrasts with an elimination tournament, in which participants eliminate after a certain number of losses. The eight group winners and the four best group runners-up advance to the third round of FIFA World Cup qualification and also qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. If Qatar finishes as winners in their group or as one of the four best runners-up, the fifth-best runners-up will go to the third round in their stead.
- Third Round: The 12 teams that advance from the second round will be divided into two groups of 6 teams to play home-and-away round-robin matches. The top two teams of each group will qualify for the World Cup, and the third-placed teams will play against each other over two legs. The winner will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs, playing a unit from a confederation to determine.
UEFA Has a different affiliation with FIFA qualifiers in comparison to AFC Asian Cup. Their Qualification format is as follows:
- First-round (group stage): 10 groups of 5 or 6 teams (with the four teams that make the 2021 UEFA Nations League Finals put into the smaller groups) with group winners qualifying for the World Cup finals.
- Second-round (play-off stage): The 10 group runners-up will accompany the best 2 Nations League group winners, based on the Nations League overall ranking, that finished outside the top two of their qualifying group. These 12 teams will draw into three play-off paths, playing two rounds of single-match play-offs with the three path winners qualifying for the World Cup.
Various high-end brands sponsor every FIFA Tournament. This is obviously what makes the event so grand and unforgettable. Sponsors for 2022 FIFA are:
- Qatar Airways
- Wanda Group
- Anheuser-Busch InBev
Since 1930, only some of the countries have proven themselves to be Football Champions. Here is a list of top 10 countries that have established themselves as world champions.