, 2022-11-20 23:12:00,
Since it was announced as the host city almost 12 years ago, it was always destined to be a World Cup of firsts.
From extreme weather to tournament debuts, CNN takes a look at the ways this year’s competition will be breaking new ground.
This will be the first time the Qatari men’s national team will participate in a World Cup finals, having failed to qualify through usual means in the past.
FIFA, the sport’s governing body, permits a host nation to take part in a World Cup without having to go through the qualifying rounds, which means the small Gulf state can now test itself against the best in world soccer.
Qatar is relatively new to the sport, having played its first official match in 1970, but the country has fallen in love with the beautiful game and the national team has steadily improved.
In 2004, The Aspire Academy was founded in the hope of finding and developing all of Qatar’s most talented sportspeople.
In recent years, that has reaped rewards for its soccer team. Qatar won the Asia Cup in 2019, capping off one of the most memorable runs in the tournament’s history, conceding only one goal throughout the tournament.
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