Football World Cup Betting – Qatar 2022: 21st November To 18th December 2022
No other competition in any sport can compete with the Football World Cup in terms of popularity, drama and excitement. The only event that gets closer to the same global audience is probably only the Summer Olympics, but still, the Football World Cup is way ahead. Every game in the football World Cup matters even in the Group Stages which means the attention on the tournament is consistently on.
It is common that people that never watch football, they become entirely involved during the World Cup: the reason is also that there is so much football being broadcasted and talked to that is tough not to get involved. Another cause of the mass popularity of the World Cup is that there is a level of genuine patriotism that comes with a team representing the home nation. In addition to that, there are old rivalries that have developed over the years, so there are many reasons to follow the tournament. It is therefore not surprising to see that every single match has million of TV viewers and that the final is watched by around a billion people around the World. In this guide, we will tell you all you need to know about the Football World Cup and also how to get the best value when betting on it.
Football World Cup Betting Guide
As mentioned the Football World Cup is the biggest event in the world and as you can imagine every single bookmaker and betting site is competing hard over the period to win and retain as many customers as possible. If you are careful and get the most out of the offers, you can get some top added value.
Sign Up Free Bets And Bonuses
By betting online, you will secure significantly better deals than in betting shops. The reason is simple: running a chain of shops cost a lot more than running a website and this allows betting companies to be more aggressive in regards to promotion.
As an online betting customer, you will, therefore, benefit from free bets, bonuses and riskfree bets so that you can try out the betting site without risking your cash. If used in a smart way those welcome bonus offer can significantly increase the value of your bets.
The most important thing for you is to figure out what type of offer you want to take: free bets are usually a good choice for single but have to be used all at ones. Bonuses, on the other hand, will allow you to keep the bonus cash but you will need to wager the amount several times to turn it into withdrawable cash. As you can see bonuses are intended for those customers that tend to place lots of bets while free bets are better suited to those, who place fewer bets.
In any case, it is essential that you read the terms of the offer carefully. Things to watch out for are:
– Promo Code: are you required to opt-in or use a promo code to trigger the offer? Are the free credit awarded upon registration, deposit, first wager settlement or first bet?
– Qualifying Bet: after you have completed the registration, when do you need to place the qualifying bet
– Minimum Odds: what are the requirements regarding minimum odds for the qualifying bet. Also, the bet has to be placed on selected markets and what are the types of bets allowed?
– Expire Date: when the free bet or bonus is going to expire?
– Existing Customers Promotion: is using the welcome bonus prevent you to get access to some of the existing customers’ offers?
– Wagering requirements: what are the terms that regulate the withdrawal of winning that are coming from bonus or free bets?
– Payments Methods: are some of the payments methods excluded from the promotion?
We have a dedicated section on betting offers so make sure you take a look in more details as there are lots of things to consider before committing to a welcome offer. In our free bets page, you will also find more useful information on how to use the welcome offers. If you need a complete guide about every top betting sites features and banking options, then visit our betting site reviews section.
Enhanced Odds Offers, Outright & Specials
It usually is better to wait until a significant event like the World Cup is around to sign up to bookmakers. The reason is that when there are significant events, betting sites are going the extra mile to attract new customers and are launching some fantastic offers that are usually enhanced compared with their standard welcome promotions.
We do list, when available, all the best-enhanced odds offer on our homepage, and we suggest that you check them out regularly. The majority of those special offers will be on a match or linked with a team: if you were thinking to place a bet anyway on that event, it makes complete sense to take full advantage of the boosted odds.
It is worth noting that if you are thinking to place a large bet, then odds enhancement offers are not going to be for you: usually price boosts have low maximum stakes (from £1 to £10), and the enhanced part of the winnings will be paid as free bets. Some betting sites like Betfair are offering the enhanced odds offer in addition to their standard welcome promotion, so it makes sense to take advantage of this enhanced opportunity regardless.
If you are thinking to place an outright winner bet then it is best to wait as close as the tournament as possible: this is because the best value promotions tend to be launched very close to the start.
Offers do sometimes seem to be too good but remember that the majority of bookmakers are running those promotions at a cost and it is part of their strategy to acquire new customers around significant events: the hope is that, once a customer has registered using the offer, he will stick around also in the future.
Concerning value, it is proven that signing up for a betting site around a big event like the World Cup is the best decision: to make an example those type of events is the equivalent of Black Friday for the gambling industry.
Only Go For Licensed Sites
During the World Cup, every bookmaker will try to attract attention from potential customers. It is essential however that you always check that the betting site is licensed in the UK by the Gambling Commission. In our betting guide section we have detailed the reasons why we strongly suggest you go for licensed bookmakers but in a nutshell, your funds will not be protected from fraud otherwise.
If you decide to bet with a rogue operator that does not hold a license in Great Britain if your cash is stolen or only if you are not getting paid out, there is nothing you can do.
This is the reason why all the bookmakers that we promote at bestbettingsites.online are those that have a regular UK Gambling Commission license: the license number is visible, and it can be checked in the Gambling Commission site directly. Check out our betting sites review for more information.
Existing Customer Retention Offers
If attracting new customers is very important, retaining the ones a bookmaker already have is paramount. The gambling industry and the sports betting arena is very competitive and if loyalty is not correctly rewarded a betting site can easily lose lots of his customers to more active competitors. For this reason, all the major bookmakers are making considerable efforts to provide great offers to existing customers, especially around top events like the World Cup. Make sure you spend some time to review what is being offered to you as you will be able, in most cases, to significantly increase the values of your betting and also reduce the margin that the house always has on players.
When the World Cup is on, there are fantastic existing customers deals to take advantage of and similarly to welcome offers. The majority are run at a loss for the operator.
To ensure you are getting the best possible deals it is advised to wait a week before the World Cup and also during the tournament: this is because just before the competition is starting you can get offered linked with the World Cup winner, while during the tournament you can get match specific or round offers. In this page, we will show you what are the common offers and also how you can get the maximum benefit out of them.
Those type of promotions is typically launched few weeks or even a few days before the start of the World Cup. Outright offers carry without any doubts the highest value. The reason why they are so attractive is that bookmakers are keen to get you to bet with them right at the beginning of the tournament with the hope that you will stick around for the whole competition and maybe more. As we mentioned before, betting sites are prepared to run those type of offers at a loss so don’t get too puzzled if they seem too good to be true.
These types of offers usually can be used once, but it is not always the case: some betting sites are structuring those deals so that they can keep you interested throughout the tournament. For example, you might get a special odds on the winner of the Golden Boot (which is the player who will score more goals over the World Cup) and also a free bet for every goal that the chosen player will score during the competition.
When evaluating those types of deals keen an eye on the stake, you need to trigger the offer and also what is the expiry date of the free bets that you are being given as part of the offer package. It is pointless to get free bets on a daily basis if you know that you are not going to bet with that frequency: this is why the offer doesn’t just have to be good, but it has to fit your taste and habits. The good news is that during the World Cup there are so many promotions that you can easily find exactly what you are looking for.
Money Back Promotions
Another very popular type of World Cup promotion are money back offers. As you can guess with those type of deals, you will get your stake back, generally as a free bet, if a determined situation will happen. The thing to evaluate here is how likely is a specific situation to happen: you might get for example money back for a player being sent off or money back if Mbappe will score a goal. As you can easily understand the second is a much better value opportunity as the likelihood of this happening is a lot higher.
In the World Cup tournament, you can also find other deals on teams like getting money back if England will lose: this kind of deals are very valuable, and you should take advantage especially if you were already thinking to place a similar bet. Other things to consider when taking advantage of money back offers are:
Minimum and Maximum stake
In which form you will get money back in free bets, cash, bonus etc.
What is the expiry date of the bonus/free bet?
Can you use the amount given on any market or there are some restrictions?
Do you need to use a promo code or opt-in to get the credit
Free Bets Linked To A Specific Market
It is popular nowadays for betting sites to give free bets that have to be used on a specific market or even match. Also, lots of those free bets are linked to in-play market: for example, if you place a bet before Germany v Argentina, you will get a free bet to use while the game is in play.
The majority of those offers will have terms, but still, there is an excellent value in taking advantage of those especially if you were thinking to place that bet in the first place.
Free Bets For World Cup Winners & Bonuses
During the World Cup boosted winnings offers are very popular indeed. Those are the opposite of money back offers and will give you an extra amount if you get the prediction right instead of giving you the money back if you fail. So if you are very confident that something is going to happen then taking advantage of those promotions make complete sense. Enhanced winning offers can be given out on every market, so there are endless possibilities.
Even though those offers carry lots of value, we suggest that you only take advantage if you were going to bet on a market anyway: so if you were going to back England to win, and a betting site is offering you double odds if the Three Lions will hit the crossbar, then it makes sense to jump on the wagon. Since there are many of those types of offers during the World Cup it is strongly advised to check around and compare so to get involved with the best ones.
Rewarding loyalty: Free Bet Clubs
Free Bet Clubs have developed in the last few years, and it is a simple but effective concept: if you place some bets in a given time (which can be a week), you will get in return a free bet or some form of bonus. Betting sites usually are running free bet clubs all year round, but this also means that you can take advantage during a tournament like the World Cup when the amount of bet placed tend to increase. You can find out all the information about the top free bet clubs in our dedicated existing customers offer section.
An average free bet club will give you around 10 to 40% of your stakes back as a free bet which is excellent. Be mindful that terms and conditions can be different for every offer and not all markets will apply: we suggest you pick the free bet club that you feel it is closer to the type of betting activity you usually have.
Enhanced odds offers tend to grab better headline then free bet clubs but make no mistakes, free bet clubs can deliver some significant long-term value. Another critical advantage of free bet clubs that has to be considered is that while enhanced odds offers are limited to a specific market, with free bet clubs every time you place a bet you will get rewarded. Also, free bet clubs are running over a week, so you are not under the immediate pressure of having to bet high stakes to receive the benefits.
Placing Accumulator bets during the World Cup is an excellent fun: during the group stages, there are up to three games a day, so there are plenty of opportunities. One thing to remember though is that bookmakers margins are higher on accumulators and it is not surprising to see that all the betting sites are pushing players to place accas. On the positive side though, there are some great offers on accumulators that can improve the situation significantly: you can get acca insurance, enhanced odds, free bets and so on.
So we are not saying that you shouldn’t place accumulators: those are great fun, and if things are going in the right direction you can win big by putting a small stake. The thing to be mindful though is that the value you get on accumulator is lower than on single bets: it is therefore even more critical taking advantage of all the available offers that bookmakers are running especially around a big tournament like the World Cup.
Extra Time Insurance Offer
You will be able to realise that the majority of offers on football are restricted to only 90 minutes: this is not a big problem during the group stages, but it can be a negative thing during the knockout stages as extra times are frequent. Not all the betting sites are restricting their offers to 90 minutes though so it makes sense to check terms and go with those bookies that are offering extra time insurance as the value of those offers will be significantly higher especially in the knockout stages of the tournament (like goalscorer markets).
Odds Boosts Offers
All the best betting sites will run odds boosts on some markets, and if you had an intention to place a bet on those lines, then you can get a significantly improved value.
Even if you want to place a bet on a market that is not covered by the general price boost, you can find a solution: some betting sites like Ladbrokes, allow existing customers to boost their bets. This usually is only possible once a day, but it will give you the great opportunity of being in control of your destiny. Even if the price boost isn’t huge, even a 5 to 10% increase can be hugely beneficial in the long run.
Free Prediction Games
Betting sites are organising more and more free prediction games that can deliver wonders if you are lucky enough to get things right (like BetVictor Golden Goal). We can’t say that winning those games is easy, but on the positive side, you need to have an account with the betting site that is organising it, to have a chance of success. So if you already have an account why not taking advantage as you have nothing at all to risk! Also consider that if you are a UK resident, you will not even have to pay tax on the winnings.
Since winning the first prize is difficult, the majority of betting sites also give out consolation prizes which can also be substantial.
Best World Cup Betting Strategy
Carpe Diem – if you want to place an outright bet you need to have the gut to wait for the right time: don’t rush as the best offers will be launched the week or even the day before the event start. If you are planning to place a bet on a single match, we suggest you wait until the day of the game as the value will be significantly better.
Portfolio Of Account – it is essential to have some betting sites accounts opened during a tournament like the World Cup. In this way, regardless of the bet you are planning to place, you will be able to get not only the best possible odds, but also you will be able to get the best value by taking advantage of the several offers available.
Consider Ante-Post Betting When Necessary – placing a bet significantly before an event takes place is risky business, but odds can also be considerably better: so if you are confident about a bet explore the opportunity to place an ante-post bet.
Each-Way Bets – in markets like outright winners and others you can consider to place your bet each way. This is an opportunity to increase the return, and you will see some betting sites that are offering those types of opportunities as part of offers packages.
Consider betting on the Draw – since not many people are betting on the draw, the value of the odds are high. In major tournaments, things can be pretty cagey especially at the beginning so always remember to consider this opportunity.
Don’t be dragged by offers – during big events we might be pushed to place bets just because there is an offer for it. This does not seem right as you should first be convinced of the bet you are making and then look to get good value with an offer, not the other way around. Also check the basic odds first as some bookmakers do offer standard odds that are more valuable than bad odds enhanced with promotions.
In Play Betting – lots of bets are placed in play nowadays, and the opportunities are endless especially during the World Cup. Live betting is particularly appreciated as it gives an entirely new tactical side to live sports betting as you can watch the game and bet based on what you see. If you get it right you can get better returns but of course get it wrong, and you can lose more too.
Live Streaming Opportunities – lots of betting operators will provide live streaming services so if you are not able to watch the game on TV you can do so through a betting site and bet in play. Watching the game while betting allows having a better grip on what is going on and can help you in making the decisions.
Cash Out Functionality – With this functionality you can cash out all or just some of your bets earlier. If used correctly you can make a good profit but remember that if poorly used can be costly. We suggest to use cash out only when you have a strong opinion that your bet can go from a winning to a losing position.
Betting on Outsiders Or Bankers – When betting on the World Cup it makes sense to back favourites but also to explore outsiders as surprises are always behind the corner. Picking the surprise package of the tournament and back it to get to the semi-finals, for example, can be extremely rewarding.
Other Markets – the World Cup is such a massive tournament that betting lines available are nearly endless. So don’t need to stick all your money on the win draw win markets but also consider things like next team to score, both teams to score, corners, scorecast, under/over and so on.
Different Bet Types – similarly to what we just said there are lots of different opportunities to bet during the World Cup. You can, of course, place single or accumulator bets but also full cover bets, handicaps, conditional and so on.
Exchange – if you want you can also be your own bookmaker and lay bets of other people by using betting exchange platforms like Betfair: this also allows you the opportunity to back a market and lay at another price to make a profit even before the game has started.
Why Betting On World Cup is so popular?
The number and the prestige of games available during the World Cup tend to attract huge audiences, and as a result, more bets are placed against the average on this event. Casual bettors are also watching most games, and we all know that betting on something you can watch is a lot more fun: this is the reason why in the last years live betting has become so popular. In addition to that, when your favourite team is not playing, having a bet on the game can make the whole game a lot more interesting.
As we have seen people tend to bet more when there are huge events: the same is happening in the UK when the Grand National is around. Those type of major tournaments like the World Cup does attract people that don’t usually bet much during the year.
In recent years with the explosion of digital, opportunities to bet have become endless: in tournaments like the World Cup you can bet pre-event and in-play on almost everything. For example, you can bet on how many shots on goals will be made and similar. It is not surprising to see that bets during the World Cup are increasing as in addition to having lots of opportunities to bet, there are also three top games every day. Nowadays you don’t even have to be in front of a computer to place your bets: if you are for example in the pub with your mates watching a game, you can stick a bet on there directly from your mobile phone. In recent years opportunities to bet have increased significantly thanks to the improvements in technology and it is not surprising to see that number of bets are considerably up compared with the previous editions of the World Cups.
The World Cup is a competition full of drama, and this is what is making things even more interesting for punters. Betting on ante-post markets, it is also very appreciated by players as you can not only back who is going to be the overall winner of the competition, but you can even predict who is going to win the group stage, the quarter, semifinals and so on. In the World Cup, we have the best players in the World that are competing against each other: you can bet for example on things like Golden Boot, Golden Glove and many more performance-related awards.
Qatar World Cup 2022 Schedule
21st November To 18th December 2022
World Cup 2022 Stadiums
The World Cup is an event that takes place every four years, and the host nation changes and so are the football stadiums where the competition takes place.
The next World Cup will be played in Qatar in 2022, and it will be the first one to take place during the winter to avoid the hot summer conditions in the Arab country. Below we have taken a sneak peek at the stadiums that will be used:
Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail
The Lusail stadium is situated around 20 miles from Doha which is Qatar’s capital. This is where the first match and the final of the 2022 World Cup tournament take place. The stadium has a retractable roof that can be opened and closed. The energy is produced by solar panels that are situated outside the stadium. The capacity is eighty thousand, but it will drop down to twenty thousand once the World Cup is over.
Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor City
This is one of the stadiums that has been created for the 2022 World Cup, and that has a hit of Qatar’s history. It has a seashell design and a curving roof section. The massive tent will cover the stadium over the competition and will remember the nomadic tribes that used to live in the Gulf.
The stadium is by the water so land and water taxis will bring fans to the ground. It has a capacity of sixty thousand people and will be used until the semi-finals of the World Cup competition.
Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan
The old Ahmed bil Ali Stadium was demolished to make space to the new Al Rayyan Stadium that will be used during the 2022 World Cup. The design is formed in a way to reflect local dunes of the Qatari desert. Environmental friendly materials have been used to build the stadium, and it also has a modern cooling system that should keep the temperature to a reasonable level during games.
Al Wakrah Stadium in Al-Wakrah
This stadium has been built by architect Zaha Hadid who has used the traditional boat shape as inspiration for his design. The stadium will have the capability of reducing the capacity to around twenty thousand when the tournament will be finished. In the stadium, you also have restaurants, swimming pool and even a gym. In addition to being used in the group stages, a quarter-finals match will also be played here.
Khalifa International Stadium in Doha
This is the only ground that will be used in the 2022 Qatar World Cup that isn’t a new built: it was opened in 1976, but the capacity was extended in 2006, and a further one has been done for the 2022 World Cup. The Qatar national team plays here, and this is why this ground is also called the National Stadium.
Qatar Foundation Stadium in Doha
Without any doubts, this is the most impressive stadium that we will see at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. This ground has a tremendous amount of light with diodes in the outside so that it is shining at night and it is also glitter during the day. The project is very innovative as the photovoltaic panels will also produce electricity for the community when there are not games.
Not only that but the stadium is perforated in the exterior so that air can circulate and that the internal temperature will stay as fresh as possible.
This stadium will be used up to the quarterfinals in 2022 Qatar World Cup, and it will have the capacity reduced just after the tournament.
Ras Abu Aboud Stadium in Doha
The particularity of this stadium is that has a modular structure that allows it to be deconstructed entirely when the 2022 World Cup will be over. As if this wasn’t enough it has been built from sustainable materials like shipping containers in a project that it is a first ever. The ground is only 1 mile from Hamad Airport so it will be straightforward for fans to get to the stadium. It will be used up to the quarter-final.
Al Thumama Stadium in Doha
This ground was designed by a member of the Arab Engineering Bureau and the design remember the traditional Arab head covering, the gahfiya.
Similarly to what we have seen with the other stadiums after the World Cup twenty thousand of seats will be removed, but in this case, those will be replaced by a hotel that will have rooms that look in on the ground. This stadium also has a very efficient cooling system to keep the temperature to normal levels more adapt to a football competition.
Most Successful World Cup Teams In History
Brazil joined FIFA in 1923 and are so far the World Cup’s most successful team ever. They have won the tournament five times (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002) and it is interestingly to note that four of the five trophies were won in different continents: Sweden (1958), Chile (1962), North America (Chile and US) in 1970 and 1994 and Korea/Japan in 2002. In addition to having won the World Cup 5 times, they have also won the Confederations Cup and the Gold in the Olympic Tournament.
Previous wins: 5
World Cup 2022 Brazil Chances: surely Brazil can never be ruled out as they come to the tournament always with a very competitive team. Having said that we need to stress that the current generation doesn’t have the same ruthlessness of Brazil’s teams in the past. Lack of balance has been one of the main issues of the recent editions: 20 years have passed since the last success in a World Cup tournament so that the pressure will be up in Qatar.
Uruguay played their first football match in 1901 and was defeated by Argentina for 3-2. Uruguay has been one of the most successful teams in the last century as they won both Summer Olympic football competition in 1924 and 1924. Uruguay is also the team that won the first World Cup in 1930. Their second success was in 1950 when they were able to beat hosts Brazil at the Maracana. So in total, they have won the biggest tournament two times in their history.
Previous wins: 2
Argentina has managed to win the World Cup tournament twice over the years with the first success that came in 1978 with a win over Holland in extra time. In 1986 Diego Maradona lead La Seleccion to win the tournament again when defeated West Germany in the final. Surely two wins is a good record however the feeling is that Argentina could have won more considering the considerable football talents that they have boosted over the generations. In Copa America, however, things have gone differently as they have won the tournament a massive 14 times.
Previous wins: 2
Chances for 2022: It is always difficult to rule out Argentina but with Messi getting old there are question marks on who will be able to replace him. Make no mistakes Argentina is undoubtedly starting as a favourite in the 2022 Qatar tournament.
Together with Italy Germany are the second most successful team in the World Cup having won the trophy four times. In addition to that, the Germans have reached eight World Cup Final which is most of every other teams in the World. This is a massive achievement if you consider that Germany was also divided between 1952 and 1990 in West and East Germany. The first game played by the German team was in 1908 when they lost 5-3 against Switzerland.
Previous wins: 4
Chances for 2022: Germany had a disappointing World Cup in Russia and are expected to bounce back in Qatar. It will be down to the new generations to try and repeat what was done in Brazil 2014 which was the last winning tournament of the Mannschaft.
Italy has won the World Cup tournament four times but, differently, from Germany, the majority of successes are from a long time ago. The Italians managed to win the first two World Cups that were played in Europe: On those two occasions, the American teams apart from Brazil didn’t take part as they complained about the travel. Italy also recorded wins in 1982 and 2006 thanks to a solid defence and a cynical attack.
Italy’s first game was against France in 1910 (6-2) win: the crowd thanked them by throwing cigarette packets to the players. Yes, times have changed a lot!
Previous wins: 4
Chances for 2022: Having failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the Italians are expected to bounce back in Qatar. Italian’s football is going through a transition period, and it is difficult to say if the Azzurri will be ready to be able to compete with the top teams in the next World Cup.
Perhaps surprising England has won just one World Cup in their history even though the nation has invented the sport. England’s game, however, didn’t improve over the years and this is one of the reasons why the Three Lions have been mostly unsuccessful in this competition. The top nations like Brazil, Germany and others evolved their way of playing over the years and got the dividends from it.
Having said that one World Cup success is still much better than a lot of other nations. The first match played by England was against Scotland in 1870. In 1966 England hosted and won their World Cup title, and this has remained one of the proudest moments of the whole nation’s history. Since then there have been a lot of failure for England’s team in major tournaments despite in the last World Cup in Russia The Three Lions managed to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 1990.
Previous wins: 1
Chances for 2022: England has an exciting new generation that has surprised positively in the 2018 World Cup in Russia by reaching the Semi-Finals. Gareth Southgate has some excellent material to work with, and expectations are that with more experience this team can give lots of joy to the English’s fans and maybe finally ‘bringing the football home.’
France has won the World Cup trophy for two times in their history and is the defending champions at the 2022 Qatar World Cup having triumphed in the 2018 Russian tournament. France played the first game of their history in 1904 against Belgium and the result was a 3-3. Over the years France has had lots of ‘Golden Generations’: the first one was in 1958 when they reached the semis of the tournament. In 1982 they also had an excellent team but failed to win the World Cup: they did however win the European Championship in 1984. They finally won the competition in 1998 with a 3-0 win at the Stade de France. In 2000 they also triumphed in the European Championships by defeating Italy in the final. In 2018 they managed to make history again by winning their second World Cup.
Previous wins: 2
Chances for 2022: France are going through another Golden Generation at the moment and the question is how long it will last. Since most of the players are rather young, you can expect that many of the winners of 2018 World Cup will still be able to perform well in Qatar. The likes of Kylian Mbappe’, Griezmann and Pogba can still bring joy to the French side in years to come.
Spain has been a dominating force in the last few years and won their first World Cup and two European Championships: in fact, they had an eight-year run without losing a single competition. In 2010 they triumphed in South Africa by defeating Holland. Spain team was only formed in 1920 and defeated Denmark in their first match ever. The Spanish Civil War and other international issues prevented the Spanish side from winning more in their history. Spain failed to impress in the Russian World Cup 2018 as they were eliminated in the last sixteen.
Previous wins: 1
Chances for 2022: Spain is going through a transitional phase with the new generation that is replacing legends like Xavi, Iniesta and so on. Make no mistakes though the Spanish team is going to be one of the top favourites also in the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
History Of The World Cup
Knowing the history of the World Cup can give you some interesting insights on what might happen in the future and if you are thinking to place a bet on this massive tournament, this is a good idea. Similarly to the game itself, also the World Cup has lots of links with the British football. The first match between two different countries took place in fast in Glasgow back in 1872: it was a 0-0 draw but it gave the idea to create the British Home Championship which involved England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The winner was crowned as the British best football team.
Football, however, was becoming more and more popular across the world, and in 1900 and 1904 a small tournament took place in the Summer Olympics. No medals were given as it was just a ‘guest sport’ at the time. Things changed radically when the FIFA was created as the body was tasked to organise tournaments between the different football nations.
The 1st Edition of the World Cup
It was FIFA that organised the first edition of the World Cup during the 1920 Summer Olympics: thirteen teams were involved, and Belgium was the successful nation and become the first country to be crowned football World Champion. The tournament was repeated in the following two Summer Olympic (1924 and 1928) with Uruguay that managed to win both titles. Football was continuing to grow in popularity and President Jules Rimet decided that it was time to separate the tournament from the Summer Olympic.
The 1st Edition of the Actual World Cup
The proper 1st World Cup was in 1930 in Uruguay. The decision to host the tournament in the South American country was linked to the fact that Uruguay won the previous two Olympics tournaments. It did create though lots of problems for European sides who didn’t have the budget to make the long trip. For this reason, many refused to take part but president Rimet managed to convince some of the best sides to attend. Eventually, there were thirteen different countries represented: the first match of the World Cup took place the 13th July 1930 with France that faced Mexico. Uruguay managed to win the competition by defeating Argentina in the final (4-2) in front of 93,000 spectators.
Issues of the New World Cup
Travel was still a big problem for the World Cup tournament. When FIFA said that the 1934 World Cup would take place in Italy, lots of South American countries decided not to take part and the same it happened in 1938 when the tournament was held in France: every of the South American teams, apart from Cuba and Brazil, didn’t take part.
The tournament was abandoned during the Second World War but in 1950 it was back with the Brazilian edition. That was the first time that the British took part in the tournament having boycotted the previous editions. Uruguay, who refused to travel to Europe in 1934 and 1938, was also back in the competition.
The World Cup starts to become bigger
During the years the football began to be dominated by European and South American teams with nations from others continents struggling to make an impact in the sport. The tournament was expanded in 1982 with 24 teams that were invited by FIFA: the idea was to involve teams from more continents. It was a success and in 1998 the World Cup was extended further to 32 teams: even though it was great to see nations coming from many more parts of the globe the competition has continued to be dominated by European and South American sides.
How Can Teams Qualify For The FIFA World Cup?
The qualifying World Cup tournaments were introduced already in 1934 and since then they have been consistently used. Every continent zones have it’s own FIFA Confederation and the right to a certain number of World Cup finals places. The number of places assigned to the different confederation depends on the strengths of the teams that are present in that continent. Each confederation can organise the qualifying tournament as they wish. The nation that will host the tournament will not need to go through the qualifying phase to avoid that the home country will not have a team in the competition. Until 2002 the team that was the current World Cup champion also didn’t have to qualify, but this was changed ahead of the 2006 World Cup.
World Cup Finals Stages
Qatar 2022 World Cup Finals
The World Cup Finals in Qatar will have the first phase with Group Stage and a second with knockout rounds. In the Group Stage the teams are divided into 8th groups that have four teams each. The host country and the other seeded teams are positioned into different groups. Every team will play three matches in the group and the two sides that are a the top of the group will proceed to the Knockout Rounds.
In this stage teams are playing against each other in a match that will have necessarily a winner and a loser: if 90 minutes are not enough to determine the winner, then additional third minutes of extra time will be played and if the result is still not decisive, there will be penalty shootout. The first phase of the Knockout Round sees the winner of each group playing again the team that has finished second in another group. Then from there, we have Quarter-finals, semis and final. There is also a third-place match between the losers of the Semi-Finals which will be played the day before the actual final.
2026 World Cup Finals – 48 team World Cup
FIFA was invested in a corruption scandal that saw both the FIFA President Blatter and the UEFA President Platini both suspended. Gianni Infantino was elected to take over in 2016 and confirmed that he liked Blatter’s idea of a 48 team World Cup. In January 2017 it was formally confirmed by FIFA that the 2026 World Cup would have 48 teams taking part. However, how will this work?
There will be 16 groups in the Group Stage that will contain three teams in each. The top two teams will qualify for the Knockout Rounds that will start with 32 teams. After that the World Cup will continue in the same way as today.
Who is deciding the Host Nation?
In the beginning, the host nation was decided by a FIFA congress meeting. As we have seen this lead to some controversies with some countries chose not to make long trips and so on. Those days the host country is decided by a vote that takes place in FIFA. Different football associations put forwards bids that are analysed by the FIFA. They then send inspectors to check the projects and ultimately a vote is made. The problem is that the ballot is secret which has in the past lead to accusation of corruption for some members of FIFA.
FIFA Corruption Case and World Cup Scandals
Since 2015 the FIFA was involved in a corruption case. There were accusations of corruption of CONMEBOL and CONCACAF bodies which were linked with preferential treatment of some FIFA sponsors. One sponsor reportedly paid $40M in bribes to be the sole provider of the Brazilian squad. There were also other investigations that seemed to have proven that corruption on the selection process of the host nations of the World Cup dates back to the 1990s. Qatar 2022 World Cup assignation has also, most likely, be the subject of corruption: apparently in 2011 one of the Qatar bid team, Phaedra Al-Majid paid $1.5 million to convince FIFA’s Africans members to vote for Qatar. Joao Havelange, the former FIFA President and Ricardo Teixeira, President of the Brazilian Football Confederation were both found guilty of receiving millions in corruption.
In 2015 the FBI raided the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich and arrested some FIFA officials. Switzerland is currently investigating a payment made by the FIFA President Blatter to the UEFA Michel Platini for ‘work well done’. Blatter and Platini were banned from all football for 8th years by the FIFA Ethics Committe in 2016.
The Corporate Sponsorship in the World Cup
Corporate sponsorship in the World Cup has been going on for years. If you look for example the opening ceremony of the 1994 World Cup you will see that Pepsi and FujiFilm are showing all over the place. In latest years those types of deals increased in popularity with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa that generated around $1 billion that went up to $1.65 billion in Brazil 2014.
Those types of sponsorships though were significantly limited in the 2018 Russian World Cup. Corruptions scandals that started in 2015 and that involved FIFA saw many brands that decided to walk away or review their commitments. Coca-Cola and Visa remained on board but others only joined as ‘Partners’ which is the level below to corporate sponsorship. The struggle to find sponsors it signal that FIFA has an organisation has lost its way. Many believe a re-branding is necessary.
The Future Of FIFA
On the 26th of February 2016 Gianni Infantino was elected the new President of FIFA. He came with a big reform package that should clear the organisation from corrupts and avoid those type of things will ever happen again. Infantino has ensured that full transparency will be made in the future especially in the process that selects the host nation of the World Cup. He wants the votation to be an open bidding process and that everyone will be able to see who is voting for what. It remains to be seen though if the proposed changes will be implemented and if FIFA will indeed become a more clear organisation.
What is the Future Of the World Cup
The fact that the World Cup will extend again is a positive thing as it will allow more nations to take part to the finals but in the other hand if those teams haven’t taken part in the past is because they were not good enough.
It is therefore essential to see how this will impact the quality of the tournament that shouldn’t be too diluted just because we want more nations involved.
Also, since the new World Cup will be made over a more extended period, this will also impact national divisions like the Premier League, La Liga, etc.
It is difficult to predict the future of course, but the risk is that players and nations will stop taking the World Cup seriously and focus more on club football which drives lots of money. On the other hand, if FIFA will see a reduction of interest on a World Cup with 48 teams, they could revert the situation. Those type of decisions, however, takes years to be implemented so realistically until the 2038 World Cup there will be 48 teams. And when we reach that stage FIFA might not be in existence anymore.