The 2022 World Cup is just around the corner, with nations gearing up for their final international breaks before the tournament kicks off.
England’s preparations for the tournament come in the form of two Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany in October. After that, the next time the Three Lions will take to the field together will be against Iran for their World Cup opener on 21 November.
With plenty of club football still to be played before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, it’s easy to forget about it for the time being and postpone all the planning, be it from where you’ll watch it from home, or even getting your last bits sorted before heading out there to watch in person.
Much has been made of the decision to host the tournament in Qatar, in particular the fact the tournament will be played in winter as a result of the extreme heat in the Middle East.
While it’s a term we’ve heard quite often in recent years, the Qatar World Cup genuinely is the definition of unprecedented times, which makes planning for a trip out there rather difficult.
Many of us will be watching from home, picking up severe World Cup fever in the cold of the winter, but there are also plenty who will be making the trip around the world for such an unforgettable event. With that in mind, there is much to be aware of if you are planning to head out to Qatar for the tournament.
So, with the World Cup quickly creeping upon us, we’ve put together a guide of what not to do and what not to take if you’re heading to Qatar – a country that plenty of fans will be travelling to for the first time ever.
Extra precautions must be taken when travelling to Qatar, as is the case with most other Middle Eastern countries, in order to abide by laws and respect their culture.
What you take to Qatar must be considered in order to keep yourself safe and to respect the laws and norms. The following guidance comes from the GOV.UK website.
Alcohol cannot be brought into the country under any circumstances, nor can pork products. Qatar has strict rules on alcohol consumption being a Muslim country, and the same goes for food containing pork.
You are able to purchase alcohol from within the country, from licensed hotel restaurants and bars. Be sure not to carry it around, drink in the streets or appear drunk in public, as this is an offence and could result in a prison sentence of up to six months and/or a fine up to QAR3,000. The legal age for drinking alcohol in Qatar is 21.
Journalists and those working in media will need permission from the Qatar News Agency (QNA) to film or photograph for work purposes and should enter the country on a visiting press permit, in order to allow technical equipment such as cameras to pass through customs.
There is a zero tolerance policy regarding drug-related offences in Qatar. If you need to bring medicinal drugs or prescriptions into the country, clearance will be needed in the form of a doctor’s note.
The GOV.UK website states: “Ensure you carry your official doctor’s prescription, hospital note or a letter from your GP, detailing the drug, the quantity prescribed and dosage. This note or letter should also be signed by the doctor / consultant and stamped by the hospital or surgery,” and provides a link for information on legalised UK documents in Qatar.
Also prohibited under Qatari law is the importation, sale and purchase of electronic cigarettes, liquids and similar products. Cigarettes are not prohibited, but usual laws will apply regarding quantities you can bring along with you.
As mentioned above, it is against the law to drink and be drunk in public places. Doing so can result in severe punishments.
Avoid getting involved with drugs at all. The country has a zero tolerance policy regarding drugs and again carries severe punishment for doing so.
It is important to respect law and culture in Qatar, thus both males and females should dress ‘modestly’ per the GOV UK website. Women must cover their shoulders and not wear short skirts. Both men and women should avoid sleeveless tops and shorts when entering government buildings, health care facilities or malls.
Displays of intimacy should be avoided in public, and visitors must ensure they aren’t behaving offensively. This includes swearing and making rude gestures. Be respectful and take care when interacting with police and other officials.
Erick Gutierrez’s trajectory to his second World Cup with Mexico ‘I have great desires’
Erick Gutierrez is set to be headed to the World Cup for the second time with the Mexican national team in November.
The PSV Eindhoven midfielder famously made Mexico’s 2018 World Cup roster as a last minute addition, replacing an injured Diego Reyes. Gutierrez was not originally included in Juan Carlos Osorio’s 23-player list, but traveled to Russia as part of the larger squad to train with the team and stand in case of emergencies.
Days before kick off, Reyes was ruled out with a right leg injury, paving the way for Gutierrez to step in. Despite the achievement, the midfielder saw no time on the pitch.
Now, he’s back.
“Everyone knows the way I went to Russia, because of an injury, and I enjoyed it even though I didn’t see minutes on the pitch. But now, I hope to have time on the pitch, to be important for the Mexican national team. That would mean a lot to me. Getting to Qatar in this way, if everything goes well, I would be very happy,” he said exclusively to 90min.
Four years later, Gutierrez has become an integral part of the Mexican National team. He played a key role in El Tri’s World Cup qualifying campaign, and continues to make the roster. But the battle for that starting position in the midfield still stands. With Edson Alvarez set to take on the role of defensive midfielder, it leaves Gutierrez fighting against Andres Guardado and Luis Chavez for the slot on the left.
The PSV player understands the competition, igniting determination.
“I haven’t seen as much time on the pitch this season [with PSV] as I would like, like the past campaign, but the best come to the national team. Everyone who’s here plays in their clubs, so sometimes I get to play and sometimes I don’t, but I always remain positive. But I want to be more important and have better performances. Sometimes I feel I didn’t have them because of past injuries, but now I feel good physically, so I have great desires.”
El Tri still has two friendlies scheduled ahead of the World Cup in November, facing Iraq and Sweden in Spain as preparation. The team will then play against Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Poland in the tournament’s Group C.
Brazil’s 2022 World Cup squad: Who’s on the plane?
After a final international break, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is almost upon us.
One of the favourites (as they usually are) to win the tournament in Qatar is Brazil, and they are for several reasons: in addition to the regularity and excellent level of performances in qualification, Canarinho is full of world class talent in every position, and world class talent that is bang in form right now.
But who are the protagonists who will arrive in Qatar with the responsibility of winning a sixth title for their nation? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. Below are the players 90min think will make the ‘plane’ for the World Cup.
The fourth centre-back spot in the squad is very much up for debate, with the fight looking to be between Lucas Verissimo and Gabriel Magalhaes for it. At the moment it’s hard to choose between them.
The ex-Man Utd man will probably just make the cut due to Guilherme Arana’s injury.
It’s between Roberto Firmino and Matheus Cunha for the final forward spot in the squad. While the latter got some minutes during the September friendlies, Firmino seems like a safer bet due to his experience and versatility.
Remember this name. Pedro could be the surprise star of the World Cup.
A traditional centre forward, the Brazilian is in exceptional form at club level – bagging 34 goal contributions, including 24 goals – and may be a key player for Brazil if given the chance.
Everton Ribeiro’s not the flashiest player, but his industry on and off the ball will earn him a spot on the plane.
One of Brazil’s exciting young players, Bruno Guimaraes is a modern midfielder, capable of defending and supporting the forwards with equal quality. The Olympic champion is practically guaranteed to be in the squad.
His absence from the September squad may have left his World Cup selection in doubt, but due to his previous performances in a Brazil shirt he should still make it.
The best goalkeeper playing in Brazil right now, expect Weverton to be the nation’s third choice keeper this winter.
Rodrygo has really come into his own in 2022, scoring crucial goals for Real Madrid at club level and becoming a much more consistent performer.
An excellent dribbler, Antony has the ability to change a game. At the very least, he’ll be a brilliant bench option for Tite when the going gets tough.
He’s not the most popular footballer in the world, but Fred remains a key player for Brazil in the middle of the park.
He’s not been quite as impressive for the Seleçao as he is for Real Madrid yet, however, his talent is unquestionable. A top, top player.
Combative out of possession and quality in possession, Fabinho is an important part of Tite’s squad, even if he’s not a starter.
Very few teams can say they have two world class goalkeepers at their disposal. Unfortunately for Ederson, Brazil is one of them.
He’s been fairly out of form at club level for a while, but Alex Sandro’s experience will mean he gets the nod from Tite this winter.
One of the most in-form players in Europe right now, Gabriel Jesus has been electric at Arsenal this season.
Despite that, he didn’t get called up to the squad for September’s games. While this may be concerning, expect him to still make the squad for the World Cup – he’s too good not to.
Don’t be surprised to see Militao being used at right-back by Tite, and don’t be surprised if he’s brilliant in that position.
The now-Barcelona forward is a favourite of Tite’s and, as his brace against Tunisia attests, for good reason.
The current first-choice centre-forward, Richarlison’s ability on and off the ball will be essential for how Brazil play this winter in Qatar.
Mobility, good vision and the ability to play a killer pass, Lucas Paqueta the perfect midfielder for this Brazil team.
He’s not the most exciting footballer in the world, but he is extremely dependable and can play anywhere across the backline.
A real leader, Brazil will need his experience and talent to get over the finishing line in Qatar.
Perhaps the best goalkeeper in the world right now. He is first choice ahead of Ederson for a very good reason.
Amazingly still only 28 years old despite being around for what feels like a lifetime.
The PSG star is Brazil’s main man in defence.
Tactical discipline, consistency, intelligence and physicality: Casemiro is a complete player and has been among the best defensive midfielders in the world for many years.
The greatest Brazilian footballer of the last 10 years is going into the World Cup in the form of his life.
Qatar Supreme Committee respond to Denmark kit release
The Qatar Supreme Committee have released a statement criticising the Hummel kits released for Denmark ahead of the FIFA World Cup, stating that they ‘whole-heartedly reject’ the protest against the country’s human rights record.
In launching the three Denmark jerseys for the World Cup in Qatar, Hummel stated that the all-red, all-black and all-white kits were designed that way as the manufacturer ‘don’t wish to be visible during a tournament that has cost thousands of people their lives’.
Discussions around how workers have been treated by Qatar in the process of readying the country to host a major tournament have been rife in recent weeks, with a report stating that 6,500 people died during this process.
As expected, the nation have hit back at these claims and Hummels’ kit launch, stating: “Since winning the right to host the FIFA World Cup, the SC has worked diligently alongside the Qatari government to ensure that the tournament delivers a lasting social legacy.
“For that reason, we dispute Hummel’s claim that this tournament has cost thousands of people their lives. Furthermore, we whole-heartedly reject the trivialising our genuine commitment to protect the health and safety of the 30,000 workers who built FIFA World Cup™️ stadiums and other tournament projects.
“That same commitment now extends to 150,000 workers across various tournament services and 40,000 workers in the hospitality sector.
“The onus should always be on countries to do more to protect the rights of peoples all over the world, including in Denmark. The SC’s work is recognised by numerous entities within the international human rights community as a model that has accelerated progress and improved lives. Qatar’s reforms are acknowledged by the ILO and ITUC as a benchmark in the region. Like every country, progress on these issues is a journey without a finish line, and Qatar is committed to that journey.
“We urge the DBU to accurately convey the outcome of their extensive communication and work with the SC, and to ensure that this is accurately communicated to their partners at Hummel.”
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