Home Sports Australia and Costa Rica are the last to be admitted to the Qatar2022 World Grand Ball

Australia and Costa Rica are the last to be admitted to the Qatar2022 World Grand Ball

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Australia and Costa Rica are the last to be admitted to the Qatar2022 World Grand Ball

DOHA (QATAR) – First the kangaroos (who beat Peru on penalties), then Costa Rica (qualified after beating New Zealand 1 to 0) which when it goes to the World Cup, usually leaves a visible trace of its passage (see in this regard the edition of Italia90 and that of Brasile2014, when the Central Americans surprisingly beat first Uruguay, then Prandelli’s Italy, in an edition of the Cup that we never would have thought we would have found today to regret): Qatar2022 has thus completed – with Central Americans and Australians – the picture of the 32 queens admitted to the grand ball from all over the football world starting from 21 November and until 18 December. And so now, and at least until October, the focus of attention will be above all on the host country and its commitment to organize an edition of the final phase which will in any case be historic for many and different reasons (the first in the Gulf, the first winter, the last to 32 teams, just to mention a few).

Bad air

Certainly (and if you want to joke, but up to a certain point …), there is a bad air around the World Cup. And it is the conditioned one that the organizers have decided to pump into most of the facilities that will host the World Cup. We have experienced a couple of them live these days: l’Al Khalifa International Stadium (which has already hosted the athletics world championships and which this time was home to the Aips Media Awardsthe Oscars of world sports journalism) and the Ahmed Bin Ali, Ar Rayyan stadium, a center just under twenty kilometers from Doha, and which hosted the two world playoffs in recent days. In both cases the impression was properly chilling, and it will be curious to understand how the expedient will be managed during the tournament, considering that in the world month temperatures usually fluctuate between 27 and 31 degrees, while already in these days of June they can reach 46 degrees or more during the day, without dropping too much at night. Well, even in these particular – but not unusual weather conditions – artificially refrigerating the systems seemed an artificial remedy and at the very least not very functional. But the cultural aspect of the story should not be overlooked: “The fact is that here being forced to suffer the heat is seen as something for the poor, bordering on inhospitality – says a Filipino taxi driver who has emigrated to Doha for over twenty years. years, while he points the vents of icy air at us in the cockpit of his car. For the World Cup everything will work well – he reassures – but the country certainly feels under scrutiny, and does not want to fail in anything, let alone in hospitality towards fans arriving from all over the world ».

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President … and resident

No, it’s not a fallen consonant, like in nursery rhymes that help children memorize basic grammar rules in elementary school. Gianni Infantino is really a ‘president-resident’. For a couple of years, in fact, the number one of FIFA has mainly been based in Doha: a significant indication of how great, even on his part, is the expectation of this world championship, son of the opaque decisions of those who preceded him to say the least (Sepp Blatter), but certainly Infantino was no stranger, albeit with another managerial parable. Therefore, the last two qualifying play-offs were also two further ‘test-matches’ for organization, logistics, road connections, safety (even if in reality, at least in the match between Australians and Peruvians that we were able to see live, the spectators they were less than 10 thousand, mostly fans of the white-redtherefore with a relative impact on all potential critical aspects).


In the meantime, however, Infantino himself took advantage of the appointment with the last two key matches (both disputed in Doha) to announce significant innovations in Doha – introduced by the International Board – for the game and its surroundings: transformed from temporary (it was defined during the Covid emergency) to definitive the rule that allows 5 substitutions, and surprise opening to the ‘long’ bench, with 15 reserves instead of 12 (this novelty that must be implemented by the various confederations in the individual tournaments, but that will certainly not struggle to be accepted). And then two other important innovations: the ‘semi-automatic’ offside (on the model of the goal line technology) which could make its debut in the world championship in Qatar, and the referees’ use of cameras on the uniform, as already happens in rugby, but if in the oval ball the intent is above all for popularization and television, in football the camera would also have one protective purpose for the whistles, more and more exposed to the aggressive reactions of the players, at all latitudes.

You work across the board

Anyway, that everything will be in place for 21 November (the starting day of the World Cup with the unusual challenge between Senegal and the Netherlands), is taken for granted. Indeed, everything will be in place much sooner. “The construction sites around here? In July everything will be finished, with the new roads completed, and the public garden directly overlooking the bay finished “, reassures the manager of a residence in the embassy district, to reach which one is now forced into a double slalom between bricks and traffic island. It is obvious that the thoughts of the interlocutors also go to the numerous complaints, which have followed one another internationally in recent years, on living and working conditions for immigrants who are employed in these construction sites too (although it must be recognized that the international pressure made it possible to turn on the lights on the situation, improving it, at least in part, also from a regulatory point of view). Minor certainties on the cost of renting apartments: «We await information from Fifa, with the final step expected in September; what will not be booked at that point, we will be able to offer it directly to those who want it ». THE rumors in the city they give prices that increase day after day, with hotel accommodations that would touch 400 euros per night, while a private room for 150 euros is already considered a great opportunity not to be missed. Others speculate that in September, however, lower prices could be achieved, perhaps in the face of a lower than expected volume of bookings. Here too, it is hoped that the ‘president-resident’ will put some of his name into it, to avoid a World Cup for the exclusive use and consumption of the rich of the planet.

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