Doha: We’re now just hours away from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kicking off as the hosts prepare to make their tournament bow against Ecuador on Sunday while five other Asian nations begin their campaigns in the ensuing days.
It’s a record number of Asian Football Confederation members participating as the festival of football returns to the continent 20 years after being co-hosted by Japan and Korea Republic in the first time it was ever held in Asia.
As excitement builds ahead of the opening round of group fixtures, the-AFC.com highlights six things to look out for.
Al Khor: Qatar coach Felix Sanchez labelled Ecuador as favourites when his side make their long-awaited FIFA World Cup debut at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday in the opening game of Qatar 2022 against the South Americans.
The reigning AFC Asian Cup champions will become the second nation from the continent – after Saudi Arabia faced hosts Russia in 2018 – to play in the FIFA World Cup opener and the game will mark the culmination of more than a decade’s work for Sanchez and his players.
Doha: AFC representatives Australia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will feature some of the biggest names in Asian football at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
With a record six Asian teams at the FIFA World Cup, the participating nations will be turning to their star players to drive them forward against the world’s elite. The-AFC.com profiles six players who could make the difference for the continent's representatives in Qatar.