Does the World Cup in Qatar help grow Asian and African football?

From when the gladiators graced arenas to 2022 when you can play FIFA 23 on a screen, with just the help of a few gadgets and software, sports has always been a universal language. The FIFA World Cup is the tournament at which football is played at the highest level and is the most popular sporting event in the World. If you want to know about Can Portugal Win the World Cup For The First Time?, click here.

Rising Asian and African powerhouses

As a sport, football is played and understood in fairly every country in the world. This popularity is fueled by the World Cup that draws international following and viewership every four years. Countries in Europe and South America have been dominant in the tournament throughout history, this seems to be gradually changing with Asian and African countries making their claims. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as marked the first time that four teams from Asia and Africa qualified for the knockout stages of the competition. In a tournament that has not been short of such upsets, Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina 2-1 on the first day of the tournament. However, It was Japan who accomplished what seemed an impossible, task when they defeated Germany 2-1 before achieving a similar score against Spain. South Korea who beat Germany in 2018, pulled a brilliant performance against Portugal to win two goals to one.

African countries have not been left out either, Cameroon ranked 43rd in the world beat top-ranked Brazil 1-0, in what marked the first time an African side won the matchup. Morocco ranked 22nd defeated Belgium who are ranked second, and Tunisia ranked 30th shocked defending champions France.

The World Cup effect

Familiarity with a sport is majorly what amounts to good performance in it. In Europe and the Americas, football has been part of their cultures for almost a century now, hence countries from these continents being more dominant competitors. However in Asia and the Middle East the football culture is still growing what better way to ‘water’ it than setting the world’s bigger football in the continent?

Out of the 1.2 million visitors who were projected to visit Qatar during the World Cup, a good number has been fans from Africa, Asian and the Middle East. These historical presence of fans from these continents can be attributed to proximity, as more fans have now been able to afford to travel there. With Morocco headed to the quarter-finals, more fans are expected to join in support of the only country from Africa left in the tournament.

After the inspiring performances for these countries which are considered underdogs, the most probable direction of growth is up.

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