Canada after 36 years 

Thinley Namgay 

The 2022 upcoming FIFA world cup in Qatar could be one of the most highly anticipated and viewed sporting events in history as it is happening for the first time in the Middle East.  Moreover, many national teams are participating after a long break.

Host Qatar has never qualified for the world cup since their independence in 1971. However, being a host, Qatar will feature in the tournament this year in group A along with Ecuador, Senegal and the Netherlands.

Qatar, however, has made a mark in Asia  defeating four-time champion Japan 3-1 in the Asian Cup final in 2019, which is their major international title.

The mood in the host country is promising.   Qatar has reportedly spent a whopping USD 220 billion to build stadiums, roads, railways and other infrastructure. This is the highest expenditure ever spent for the world cup preparation so far.

For Wales, the Qatar world cup will be their first appearance after 64 years and the second in history. Wales qualified for the world cup for the first time in 1958.  That time Wales reached the quarterfinals.

The Wales national team broke the world cup drought this year in June by defeating Ukraine 1-0.  Wales international sensational player Gareth Bale scored with a free kick in the 34th minute to grab the place.  Gareth Bale is the key player for Wales who will face England, the USA, and Iran in group B.

The second largest country in the world, Canada has booked a seat for Qatar world cup 2022 after a 36-year break.

The Canadian national team’s last world cup was in 1986 in Mexico and lost all three games in the group stage to France, Hungary and the then Soviet Union. Beating Jamaica 4-0 this year in March in Toronto, Canada qualified for the world cup a second time.  Canada will play Belgium, Morocco and 2018 runners-up Croatia in group F.

The Ecuadorian and Ghanaian national football team is also back in the world cup this year after eight years.  It will be their fourth appearances.  Ghana will play against Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in group H.

From Asia, South Korea is making their 11th appearance in the world cup this year. South Korea participated more among Asian countries. In 2018, South Korea defeated the then defending champion Germany 2-0 which shocked the world.

Japan on the other hand is participating for the seventh time.  Except in 2004, Japan has been a regular team in the world cup since 1998.  Japan will  face  strong opponents, Germany, Spain and Costa Rica in group E.