Cup of the world
Although 'sudden death' could have another meaning given abuse of migrant workers, the world is getting ready for the FIFA World Cup 2022 to finally kick off in Qatar.
The opening game on 20 November in fact coincides with the day of Nepal’s federal and provincial elections. The event is also special to Nepalis because thousands of its migrant workers helped build the eight stadiums, metro and other facilities for the world's biggest sports event.
The World Cup will be watched by millions in Nepal and there is usually an increase in sales of flatscreens with sports enthusiasts planning get-togethers around the game. The market is already cashing in with special offers for LED TV, routers and internet packages. But viewers in Nepal will also need an additional subscription on top of regular TV subscription charges to watch the matches.
Media Hub, an advertising agency, has bought exclusive rights to the games from Viacom India and the former has added a subscription cost to World Cup matches. This means viewers have to pay Rs565 including the VAT to access the games with the Supreme Court which issued an interim order against collecting additional fees just to watch the games having now backtracked.
Unlike in the past, Nepalis cannot watch the matches on Indian channels like Sports Star, 10 Sports and Neo as foreign TV channels broadcasting the World Cup won’t be aired in Nepal. They can, however, watch the games live on Himalaya TV HD which is set to broadcast the matches on IPTVs (Internet Protocol Television) through Worldlink and Vianet Communications.
For the first time in history, the World Cup is being held in winter because of the heat of the Qatar summer, which means the games are squeezed into one month with 32 national teams competing. Host Qatar kicks off the tournament with an opening match against Ecuador. The two are joined by Senegal and Netherlands in Group A.
One–time winner England, Iran, USA and Wales make up Group B whereas old fan favourite Argentina is with Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland in Group C. Another favourite France is in Group D along with Australia, Denmark and Tunisia.
In Group E, former winners Spain and Germany are lumped together with Costa Rica and Asian powerhouse Japan. Belgium, Canada, Morocco and Croatia headline Group F while five-time winner Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon make up Group G. Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay and Korea round out the last Group H.
Group stage matches take place from 20 November to 2 December. The round of 16 will have ended by 6 December making way for quarter-finals from 9-10 December and semi-finals between 13-14 December. The third place playoff will be on 17 December with the World Cup 2022 concluding with the final on 18 December which is Qatar’s National Day but also International Migrants Day.
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