All eyes are in Qatar as the much-anticipated FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks off today, with the hosts taking on Ecuador today at 7 PM EAT in an opener of the global football competitions inviting 32 teams from nations across six continents.
The prestigious competition will feature five stages: the group stage, the round of 16, the quarter finals, the semis and the final.
It will be played in high level seven stadiums equipped with air conditioners to combat the desert heat and accommodate people from all the races.
Already players and fans have camped in the small Arabic country to witness the event that takes place every four years. The previous competition was held in Russia in 2018, Brazil in 2014 and South Africa in 2010.
France are the defending champions after lifting the trophy in 2018 after beating Croatia 4-2 in the final in Russia.
Africa is represented by 5 teams: Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco and Tunisia.
Qatar has put up a number of restrictions to govern the behavior of fans and players in the 28 days the competitions will be held, and to preserve its culture and rule the Sharia Law, including no taking alcohol inside or around the stadium.
The country has also banned sex, the wearing of rindecent clothes, LGBTQ campaigns and commenting on the nation’s politics.
The World Cup will miss top ranking players such as Mohamed Salah of Egypt whose team did not qualify, Sadio Mane of Senegal who suffered a knee injury and Karim Benzema of France who is nursing a led injury and who was ruled out on Saturday.
This illustration shows the fixture of matches starting today.
Sam Oduor is the editor-in-chief at the Western Kenya Times who leverages the power of the Internet in telling stories that shape opinions.