What’s So Special About the World Cup


The Peninsula

Soccer fans from all over the world gathered in Qatar’s Ahmad Bin Ali stadium.

The four year wait is up, finally the World Cup is on! Let the games begin, the players line up, and fans cheer aloud. Once again, millions have gathered together to watch the beloved sport. No matter what country, time zone, or time of day, soccer fans tune in to not miss the best players competing on the field. The world cup is an event that can be celebrated among people despite differences of race, religion, language, or culture. The games pull people from all over the world in one place to enjoy each other’s company and favorite sport. 

For the first time in history, the 2022 World Cup is held in an Arabic country in the Middle east. The Middle East may seem intimidating to some across the world due to differences between the people. Aside from Qatar winning the bid for host nation, according to FIFA, it was an opportunity to bridge the gap between the Arab World and the West. People who attended in Qatar, got the chance to see a whole new side of the Arab World. Amazing memories were made and it increased tourist attraction for adventurous people.  

Senior Tigran Kolsuzyan, who has played soccer since he was six years old, has been watching excitedly. He enjoys watching with his family while also having them cheer for him when he plays. “I have stayed up just to not miss big upsets like Argentina vs Saudi Arabia or USA vs England.” Sophomore Rene Mehdikhani became interested because of his dad and grew to enjoy the sport as he played and watched. “I don’t mind pushing my to-do things to the side or losing sleep to watch the matches since it happens once every four years,” Mehdikhani said.  

Modern soccer has been around for almost a hundred years and played among people no matter their location. It has been prevalent in low and middle class areas. As portrayed in movies and documentaries, it was even played in the streets in poor neighborhoods, with little to no equipment or the right clothes. Legends like Pele and Diego Maradona, grew up poor in the hardest living conditions, however, once they found their passion, they rose to the top through their perseverance. Today, people of their home country and even around the world, are inspired to follow their dreams too no matter their circumstances. 

Large number of Clark students, both lifelong or new soccer fans, tuned in. This World Cup is speculated to be the last for legends such as Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luka Modric, and Yuto Nagamoto. Watching the best players on the field for the last time, was an opportunity not to be missed. For the viewer, it can be an opportunity to get their mind off stressors and just be happy.  “It can be more than just a sport, like therapy for some people who use it to get their mind off certain stressors and relax for a while,” said Mehdikhani. 

During the tournament, American commentators would debate whether it’s called “Soccer” or “Football.” In other countries, the sport is known as football. “I think it’s called soccer only for one day and that’s when England tied with the USA, but overall it’s called football,” said Kolsuzyan. Mehdikhani and Kolsuzyan both hope to attend the 2026 world cup in person. For them, any game would be worth attending because watching from the stands in person will be so special.