The wait will soon be over! Despite the change in schedule, switching the upcoming tournament from the summer to winter months, the excessive heat in host nation Qatar made this a sensible decision. In previous years, the biggest global football event would already have been played by now, although as November fast approaches, it won’t be too long before the 2022 FIFA World Cup finally begins.
Whether their countries have qualified for the tournament this year or not, quite literally billions of people will be watching the 2022 FIFA World Cup, from Venezuela to Vietnam and beyond. Looking specifically at the passionate support for football throughout Asia, there will also be millions of people keen to wager on the outcome of games. Asiabet has provided an extensive guide to the best sports betting sites in Vietnam known as hướng dẫn cá cược thể thao trực tuyến cho World Cup 2022, where all the best local and international betting options can be found.
But when it comes to the expectations for Asian teams at the upcoming 2022 World Cup, there will be six national sides representing the hopes of the Asian Football Confederation, undoubtedly providing added interest throughout the region. This includes a strong contingent of international selections from the Middle East, where the tournament is being hosted for the first time in World Cup history.
Beginning with the host country of Qatar, the sense of enthusiasm heading into the tournament is literally reaching fever pitch right now. Their national team has never qualified for the World Cup before, making this even more exciting for the citizens of this tiny but impressive nation. Local fans will be keen to back the Qatari national team, and they could even be capable of causing some upsets, even if progress to the knockout phase will be tough.
This will be the sixth appearance for Saudi Arabia at the World Cup finals tournament, since their first appearance at USA 1994. That produced a memorable debut on the biggest stage in the global game, when ‘The Green’ were surprise qualifiers to the knockout phase, before being eliminated by Sweden. Subsequent appearances have never scaled the same heights, yet playing in their own region could be a massive boost at the 2022 World Cup.
Often regarded as one of the strongest and most passionate football nations in the Middle Eastern region, the Iranian national team will undoubtedly be accompanied by thousands of supporters, for the short voyage across the Persian Gulf. Lovingly known as ‘Team Melli’ by the fans, they will be hopeful of upsetting fierce geopolitical rivals from the United Kingdom and the United States. Group B contains England, Wales, and the USA national team, adding extra spice to their aim of becoming one of the surprise teams at the 2022 World Cup.
Heading eastwards towards the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ and an ever-growing enthusiasm, football really has taken hold of Japanese sporting culture. This has encouraged many notable foreign players from elsewhere to join their domestic league, inevitably aiding development of their own players and ideas. Meanwhile, many Japanese players are now representing major clubs throughout Europe, underlining the strong progress in recent decades. Underestimating Japan would be a huge mistake, even in a World Cup group containing Spain and Germany.
When they co-hosted the World Cup with Japan in 2002, South Korea certainly made the most of their home advantage, stunning the global game by reaching the semi-finals. They were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Germany, thus ending ambitions of becoming the first Asian country to reach a World Cup final. Reaching the same heights will be a tall order, although this will not reduce their ambitions, especially with Premier League star Son Heung-min in attack.
Last but by no means least, we come to Australia and a nation which switched international federations in 2006, from the Oceania Football Confederation to the Asian Football Confederation. The aim of this move was to face much stronger opponents on a more frequent basis, which resulted in the ‘Socceroos’ improving, consistently reaching every World Cup tournament since then. They will also fancy their chances this year, in a World Cup group containing rival sides France, Denmark, and Tunisia.