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‘Qatar World Cup will be exceptional’

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Thrilling matchup as Spain draw Germany; US vs Iran

DOHA, April 2, (Agencies): Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has promised that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be exceptional. “I feel proud and happy from now until the moment the world will see that we in Qatar will present an exceptional World Cup in the Arab world, as we had promised,” Sheikh Tamim said during his participation in the ceremony of the final draw of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 which was held at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center. “As a fan and sportsman, I am looking forward to enjoy with all of you this great event and its special atmospheres,” he added.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (AP)

The Qatari leader hoped that that the impact of such sports events would be not confined only to fun “but rather goes beyond that to a lofty and higher stages that lead us to rapprochement and mutual acquaintance between the peoples of the world”. He noted that this World Cup in Qatar would be the first major event that united the world in the aftermath of the pandemic that had taken its toll on the world for more than two years. For his part, FIFA President echoed a similar view, as he expected that the World Cup in Qatar would be the best ever.

“The World Cup Qatar 2022 will be the most amazing edition, and will be watched by more than three million people in Doha and more than five billion around the world,” he said. He pointed out that launching the mascot and the official song means that “we are at the final stretch ahead of the start of the World Cup Qatar 2022”. The World Cup final draw resulted in strong groups competing, with 32 teams looking to win the title on Sunday, December 18, at Lusail Stadium.

Qatar begin their journey in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 by facing Ecuador in the opening match that will be held on Monday, November 21 at Al Bayt Stadium. Just like at the FIFA showpiece in 1998, the United States will play Iran. The Mother of All Games Part II. But if Group B needed any more intrigue it was provided in Friday’s draw in Doha by the headline participant being Euro 2020 runners-up England, whose government has endured tense relations with Tehran. And the ramifications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which spilled into the Doha convention center, were evident in the final team drawn in the group. Ukraine’s ability to qualify for Qatar has been delayed by the war halting football in the country. But if they beat Scotland and then Wales in the playoffs in June, the Ukrainians will contest a World Cup for the first time since 2006.

The focus on Group B overshadowed other notable draws. Qatar qualified as the hosts of the first World Cup in the Middle East, and will make their tournament debut in the opening match on Nov. 18 against Ecuador. Then they face newly crowned African champions Senegal followed by the Netherlands. There’s a thrilling matchup in Group E between 2010 champions Spain and 2014 winners Germany. Group C could see a meeting of the most recent FIFA Best winners with Lionel Messi’s Argentina drawn to play Robert Lewandowski’s Poland.

The biggest traveling support could also be witnessed in the group, as Saudis can drive across the border into Qatar. Their final first-round game is against Mexico. There is a seemingly lowkey start for Portugal at what could be Cristiano Ronaldo’s fifth straight World Cup finals as their Group H includes Ghana, South Korea and Uruguay. South America nations discovered before the draw that a $10 million bonus awaits from their confederation for being the first world champion from CONMEBOL since Brazil in 2002. Brazil first has to get past Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon to win a recordextending sixth world title and also bank $42 million from FIFA. The world champions will be crowned in December for the first time, on what will be Qatar National Day on the 18th. The finals were moved from their usual July slot to avoid Qatar’s fierce summer heat.

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