The World Cup Kicks Off

The French team proudly hoists the world cup trophy in 2018


The French team proudly hoists the world cup trophy in 2018

After four years, the men’s FIFA World Cup kicked off on Sunday, bringing excitement and joy to soccer lovers everywhere. Many of the teams look strong, and while some are favored to win over others, the trophy is up for grabs for any team. France, the defending champions, have a powerhouse team again, and will play in their opening game on Tuesday. In addition to France, England, Brazil, Belgium, Argentina and many other countries are full of talented athletes, who desperately want the glory of being the best football team in the world. 

As extreme soccer-enthusiasts, my family prepared for the World Cup with our traditional snake draft with each member of the family (including Clover, our golden retriever) choosing four teams to root for. Whoever’s team wins the World Cup gets the ultimate prize: bragging rights. The World Cup is a great opportunity to watch LOTS of soccer, with three to five games each day. I know that my family is excited to be able to watch real football on Thanksgiving instead of the American football game. 

The World Cup is a beautiful and amazing culmination of the best talent in the world with athletes like Harry Kane from England, Heung-Min Son from South Korea, Christian Pulisic from Team USA, Gareth Bale from Team Wales, and so many more competing on the grand stage. 

Timothy Weah celebrates after scoring a goal for the US against Wales on Monday
(New York Post)

The US team faced off against Wales on Monday. They came out strong, and scored towards the end of the first half. However, they were unable to maintain their lead as Wales captain Gareth Bale scored off of a PK in the 82nd minute, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie. The top two teams from each group move on to the next stage, and the US team will need to win in order to advance. They are in Group B along with England, Iran, and Wales. Coming off of a tie to Wales, the US will need to prepare in order to face off against one of the favorites in the World Cup: England. This is a highly anticipated game as England is a very strong team, and if the US were to win, it would be a big upset. 

Although there is much excitement surrounding the World Cup, the circumstances under which it is operating have cast a pall over the event. There is controversy surrounding FIFA and the host country, Qatar, because Qatar is facing human rights accusations, and are believed to have bribed FIFA officials to host the event. Qatar took advantage of migrant workers, giving them little to no pay and awful working conditions. Around 6,500 workers from the Indian subcontinent died in the building of the tournament’s eight stadiums. Also, women in Qatar are denied basic rights such as making decisions related to reproductive health, marriage, education, and travel. Qatar is a corrupt nation, and many feel uncomfortable that they are profiting from the World Cup.


By Cate Lynch ‘24, Sports Editor