The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


World cup in Qatar unites soccer fans once again

Photos by Wikimedia Commons
A side view of the South Korea versus Uruguay match on November 24th during the first round. The game ended in a draw, 0-0.

The 2022 World Cup games in Qatar have officially taken off and have been the subject of many conversations from sports fans worldwide. The World Cup occurs every four years, much like the Olympics. Soccer fans are relishing the moment of seeing their home countries’ teams attempt to bring home a win this year. Fans have accounted for many games to come to their surprise and impress them this year, and the matches have been nothing short of exciting. Underdogs have defeated stronger and more imposing teams such as Germany losing to Japan and Saudi Arabia winning against the Messi-led Argentina team. 

Depending on where an individual resides, the name of the sport has been debated throughout history, with Americans calling the sport soccer and the majority of the rest of the world calling it football. The game is relatively easy to understand. There are two goals on opposite ends of a 360 feet grass field with the objective of each player to score on the opponent’s goal, all while defending their own. There are many positions in soccer, with a few being forwards, midfielders, defenders, and goalkeepers. All positions play a vital role in ensuring their teams’ success, with the backbone of the team relying on the goalkeeper.

This year’s World Cup location in Qatar has been the subject of many criticisms and controversies. Qatar has been called out by activists on their mistreatment of women throughout their countries’ history, and their poor treatment of migrant workers that participated in the construction of the stadiums hosting the games. Up to 400 to 500 individuals have been reported deceased in the process of preparing many World Cup structures which have been confirmed by Qatar themselves. Their views on LGBT+ have angered many members of the community and have resulted in boycotts by LGBT+ soccer fans. Josh Cavallo, who plays for the Australian national soccer team and is the first openly homosexual player to come out, has criticized the event’s location and has been reluctant to travel there before the start date. Many have also rumored that Qatar bribed their way to officials to select their country for the host, and the lack of a strong culture that enjoys the sport of soccer does not help their case as well. Lastly, the strong and unpredictable climate in Qatar could be a problem for the athlete’s conditioning going down the stretch. 

I personally believe Qatar should have never hosted the tournament, and there are reports that there were bribes throughout the entire application process,” said Conner Bayer,  history teacher and varsity volleyball coach at Athens Drive.

Bayer has been an avid soccer fan for the last few years and has been a devoted fan of the United States national soccer team. He was excited about the team’s win against Iran on Tuesday and hopes they can potentially make a run for the championship this year as one of the tournament’s biggest underdogs. The team is anchored by their star Christian Pulisic, as well as the trio of Tyler Adams, Weston McKinnie, and Yunus Munah. The rest of the squad is filled with young, up-and-coming stars, and the future of American soccer will be something to look out for in future games and tournaments to come. The U.S. team did not qualify for the 2018 tournament, so they are out to prove they belong on the field this year. 

“I’m very much looking forward to the knockout rounds where I think we’ll see some really solid matchups and competition throughout the remainder of the tournament,” said Bayer.

This year’s top three strongest teams so far have been Brazil at first, France following closely behind and Spain at third on the power rankings according to Brazil has a disadvantage currently after losing their superstar Neymar Jr. to an ankle injury, and France could be coming to take the lead in the power rankings. France is being led by the world-renowned superstar in Kylian Mbappe, and they are looking to run it back as champions after winning it all in 2018. 

“I am rooting for France because my favorite player at the moment plays for the French national team is Paul Pogba. Many of the other players on the French team are also of East African descent,” said Joseph Mogaka, senior.

Mogaka recently rediscovered his love for the game of soccer, after playing it back in his younger years. He has focused more on playing basketball now but indulges in a little soccer here and there. The most exciting game in his opinion was France versus Australia’s team on November 22, where the French dominated their opponents with a final score of 4-1. In his eyes, the largest upset was the Saudi Arabian team defeating the legendary Argentinian soccer team with the final score of 2-1. 

“I think that the final two teams will be Argentina and Brazil. I think that Messi will try and win for their team because of it being his last Cup before his retirement and Brazil being absolutely stacked with talent on their roster,” said Mogaka. 

This year’s World Cup is almost at the halfway point, with some teams being eliminated before the round of 16. Be sure to tune in to catch the few remaining teams battling for the spot in the finals. 

More to Discover
Our Goal