Sunday, January 29, 2023

A global sports

Never before has a world cup football final been as epic as the battle between two football titans – the legendary Lionel Messi (No.10 jersey) of Argentina and Kylian Mbappe (also No.10 jersey) of France. In probably the wildest final in the tournament’s 92-year history, Argentina won its third World Cup title by beating France 4-2 in a penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw featuring two goals from the 35-year-old Messi and a hat trick by his heir apparent, France forward Kylian Mbappé. The game was pulsating, highly competitive and every move has the spectators and television viewers spellbound. Argentina appeared set to win the game twice, both in regulation and extra time before Kylian Mbappe’s 117th minute penalty (and a hat-trick goal) tied up the game at three goals apiece. The game was tied at 2-2 after the 90-minute regulation period and at 3-3 after 30 minutes of extra-time. Messi’s magic worked, and despite difficulties, Argentina lifted the FIFA World Cup 2022 in penalty shoot out. Argentina defeated France by 4-2 in penalties. Argentina dropped their opening match of the tournament- a shock 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia – before reeling off five wins in a row, including knockout wins over Australia, Netherlands, Croatia. Argentina’s world cup victory in Doha after a long wait of 36 years and the memorable swan song for Lionel Messi on football’s biggest stage on Sunday night were celebrated in various parts of India, with Argentina (Albiceleste) supporters taking to the streets in blue-and-white shirts, hailing their favourite team’s achievement. According to FIFA, the international governing body for football, there are 211 national football associations affiliated with FIFA, representing countries from all six inhabited continents. This includes countries in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Football is king in virtually all of Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East, Central America, and Asia. The sport has roughly 3.5 billion fans worldwide out of 7 billion people and 250 million players across 200 countries around the world. The 2022 FIFA World Cup was the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup which was held in Qatar from November 20 to December 18, 2022, making it the first World Cup held in the Arab world and Muslim world, and the second held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan. At an estimated cost of over $220 billion, it is the most expensive World Cup ever held to date. From the next FIFA football world cup in 2026 the format will have 48 teams as against 32 in 2022. In addition, it was the first World Cup to feature concussion substitutions, whereby each team was permitted to use a maximum of one concussion substitute during a match. A concussion substitution did not count towards a team’s quota of regular substitutions. Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand suffered a concussion in his country’s opening match against England and was replaced by Hossein Hosseini. This was the first use of a dedicated concussion substitute during a World Cup.It was also the first time that Video Assistant Referee (VAR) played a major role in ensuring that what the human eye cannot, the camera did.

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