The World Cup 2022 is scheduled for Qatar, in four years. The 2018 Moscow World Cup is now history. France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the Final, and Belgium put paid to England 2-0 for 3rd.
England greatly disappointed its supporter base and its world-wide fans. Their semi-final illustrated they were not hungry enough. The Croatian players consistently were in front of their English opposite numbers as passes came their way. Some commentators suggested their minds focused on the English Premier League where the millions of dollars are earned. In other words, they were avoiding injuries.
The VAR replay system (Video Assistant Referee) on the whole won acclaim – like the cricket – everyone was viewing the ‘classic multiple angles’.
Almost every Australian commentator on the Socceroos performances were tainted by the Dutch coach not playing our own EPL super star goal scorer Tim Cahill – he came on late in the second half of the third and final game when it was already lost. Commentators were spot on, the Dutch Coach experiment of many years - is over. The call for an Australian coach has not gone unheeded for Qatar 2022.
The FIFA selection of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar sent out alarm bells - not least the heat and the restrictive social mores of Islamic governance. FIFA itself had been under scrutiny and many arrests have taken place. The courts have spoken. Commentators were not soft.
Qatar has scheduled the 2022 World Cup to late in the year to avoid the hottest weather and moreover, fixtures away from the heat of the day. But these dates falls within the European soccer competitions.
Will the EPL close down for a full month? Will the Spanish, French and German leagues do likewise? Regardless of national honours, it is doubtful if a multi-millionaire soccer player from Spain, Germany, France or England will put everything at risk.
As commentators have exclaimed, some nations make it to the World Cup whose players delight in getting a ‘fresh set of kit’ and with nothing to lose on the pitch!
Australia now gears up for another series of gruelling qualifying matches as the next four years roll on toward the Qatar 2022 World Cup – and now with an Australian coach Graham Arnold.
As an aside the New Zealand Soccer Team usually has a harder row-to-hoe to qualify for a World Cup, may this change – as who knows, the Socceroos and the White Shirts might meet in the …… as my father tells me, it happened at the 1976 Montreal Olympic hockey tournament – India, Pakistan, Netherlands, Germany, England, Spain were the ‘also-rans’ – in the Final, the Black Sticks beat the Kookaburra’s 1-0.
Wesley Tronson is an award winning sport writer who spent 7 years in England in soccer and banking. He is now a senior regional manager in banking in Queensland