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FIFA World Cup 2022: Which former champions failed to book a ticket to Qatar?

The FIFA World Cup was initially scheduled to begin on November 21 with Senegal's game against the Netherlands at Al Thumama Stadium.

Italy players in a file photo; Credit: Twitter/@EURO2024
By K S Vignesh Bharadwaj | Oct 26, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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The festive period is approaching, and there are whistles and colour bombs on the streets and passion in the air. Yes, you guessed it right. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is just around the corner. Qatar will host the 22nd World Cup, and the tournament will be held in the Middle East for the first time. The mega event will be held from November 20 to December 18, 2022, with the draw taking place in Doha on April 1, 2022. The final qualification round was held in June, with Costa Rica, Australia, and Wales filling the remaining spots on the 32-team roster.

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Qatar’s match was moved forward in August to allow them to open their home tournament. – The FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks off at the Al Bayt Stadium, with hosts Qatar locking horns with Equador in the Group A fixture on Sunday, November 20. The tournament was initially scheduled to begin a day later with Senegal’s game against the Netherlands at Al Thumama Stadium. With Qatar being the host, the game was moved ahead in August to play the curtain raiser. Italy are the only former World Cup champions who have failed to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. 

Azzurri, a Sinking Ship?

Football is a game where miracles happen, Day in and Day out. From the underdog creating fairytales to World Champions crashing out, the World Cup is a spectrum of emotions. Four-time World Champions, Italy have not made it to the World Cup for the second time running, and how things have changed. 

A tiny percentage would have bet on Italy not to qualify for the World Cup once, but twice? Seems unreal. Yes, Italy have not made it to Qatar. Everything was great, and the ship was sailing through smoothly, at its best, as Italy accumulated a 37-match unbeaten run since their defeat to Sweden in the qualifiers. Italy won the Euros after a fitting finale at Wembley against the hosts, England. Surprisingly, Italy failed to bag points against Switzerland and Northern Ireland, eventually losing automatic qualification for the World Cup in Qatar. Disaster struck as the Blues lost to North Macedonia. 

After “It’s coming Rome,” Italy won just two games, thrashing Lithuania and grabbing all three points against Belgium. In other fixtures, they dropped points in all their games against Bulgaria, Switzerland, Spain and Northern Ireland. Italy was forced to compete in the playoffs against North Macedonia, who finished second in Group J. Aleksandar Trajkovski’s second-half injury-time winner eliminated Italy from contention for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.



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