World Cup 2022 viewer’s guide: US team ready to play

The United States returns to the World Cup with a match on Monday after missing the 2018 tournament in Russia.

DOHA, Qatar – The first World Cup in the Middle East finally kicked off on Sunday with a flashy opening ceremony and a match between Qatar and Ecuador without beer for sale in the stadium.

The beer ban, imposed two days before the tournament kicks off, is the latest controversial setback to a global event that has come under intense scrutiny over Qatar’s human rights record and the frenzied efforts of its players. emirate to prepare it for the most compact World Cup in history.

Thousands of attendees were refused Saturday night’s concert at the official fan zone because of overcrowding, as 1.2 million visitors are expected to begin arriving in the tiny country. on the Arabian Peninsula this week.

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Qatar is home to 3 million people, most of them migrant workers, and has spent more than $200 billion on improvements across the energy-rich nation roughly the size of Connecticut or the island of Jamaica. Among the additions are seven new purpose-built venues, including the 60,000-seat Al Bayt Stadium, which hosted the opening ceremony and Sunday’s first game.


Two of the best players in the world were ruled out of the tournament by injury before it even started.

French striker Karim Benzema, who won the Ballon d’Or, will be sidelined after suffering pain in his left thigh during Saturday’s training session. Senegal striker Sadio Mane, who finished second behind Benzema in the World Player of the Year award, is absent due to a leg injury he sustained last week while playing for Bayern Munich.

Previously, French midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante were ruled out, as were German striker Timo Werner. Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku and South Korea’s captain Son Heung-min have arrived in Qatar with lingering injuries.


Giving Qatar the right to host the World Cup is a financial boon for FIFA as the football governing body says it has earned a record $7.5 billion in revenue over the past four years through tied commercial deals. with this year’s tournament.

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The proceeds are $1 billion more than earnings from the previous commercial cycle of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The extra money this year has been driven by local sponsorship deals, including Qatar Energy, which has joined as a top sponsor. Qatar’s QNB Bank and telecommunications company Ooredoo are also sponsors.

New to the funding packages this year is, the first new US donor in over a decade.


The United States returns to the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament in Russia and Monday’s opening game against Wales led by Gareth Bale.

Bale is playing for Los Angeles FC and helped them win the MLS Cup earlier this month.

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The United States has one of the youngest teams in the 32-team league. Three of the Americans — Gio Reyna, Joe Scally and Yusuf Musah — were 11 years old the last time the national team played a World Cup match.

DeAndre Yedlin, a 29-year-old defender, was the only pillar of the US team that was eliminated by Belgium in the second round eight years ago. Yedlin, Christian Pulisic, Kellyn Acosta and Tim Ream were the only four players on the team when they failed to qualify for Russia.


The first full day of competition also included a Group B match between England and Iran at Khalifa International Stadium and the Netherlands against Senegal at Al Thumama Stadium in Group A.

He is one of the favorites, having reached the semi-finals four years ago in Russia, plus a runner-up finish at last year’s European Championships. But the Three Lions have come to Qatar without a win in their last six games, hoping their strong record in recent major tournaments will turn the team’s situation around.


Eight of the 13 captains from European countries planned to wear the “One Love” armband to promote inclusion and LGBTQ rights in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are outlawed.

Among those pledged to wear the captain’s armband are Bale and England striker Harry Kane.

But FIFA’s equipment regulations forbid such armbands. Tournament rules require “match staff to wear official FIFA-supplied clothing and equipment, including FIFA event badges regulated and provided by FIFA.”

If the captain’s armband is deemed unsuitable, the players wearing them may be fined or receive a yellow card.

England showed they are willing to be fined for wearing the captain’s armband, as did Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who answered “yes” when asked if he planned to continue the silent protest.

FIFA launched its own captaincy armband in response, which in conjunction with the United Nations will promote a different campaign for each round of the tournament. The theme of the quarter-finals is “non-discrimination”. There is no indication that LGBTQ rights will be part of any campaign. World Cup 2022 viewer’s guide: US team ready to play

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