- France is the defending champion in this year's world cup
- The tournament is expected to span across 32 days
- 'Al Rihla' will be the official match ball for the FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Most of us will agree that the world isn't the same anymore after COVID-19 plagued it in 2020. It has affected lives and professions in every corner. With bio-bubbles and players being isolated all over the world across different leagues and tournaments, FIFA has now sanctioned a new rule for the 2022 World Cup that will be played in Qatar later this year.
When COVID-19 first struck in 2020, a lot of people believed that the era of watching live games was over and the prospect of conducting multi-national tournaments looked bleak with FIFA being unsure about the 2022 World Cup. But things changed, times changed and the effect of the virus has slowed down. But FIFA is keeping no stones unturned to ensure that the tournament is conducted smoothly with the virus still looming over us.
As far as the 2022 World Cup goes, FIFA has approved bigger 26-man squads for the World Cup in Qatar. Fédération Internationale de Football Association believes that this will help the coaches and players during the COVID-19 pandemic and will provide them some kind of relaxation going into the highly competitive tournament. This move hasn't come as a surprise after 23-player rosters were expanded for recent continental championships. The move of adding three players to the typical World Cup roster follows UEFA doing the same for the European Championship last year.
FIFA believes that sanctioning an extra number of players will help the coaches of the 32 teams cope with possible outbreaks of virus cases, which also means that additional players are already following health protocols within the camp in Qatar rather than being brought from their home country. The sudden change of events, also means that the change in squad size will send a total of 96 extra players to the World Cup being played from Nov 21 to Dec 18. As compared to the World Cup played in Russia, this time around the event is scheduled to last for 32 days.
(Inputs from PTI)