By Andrew Warshaw
March 25 – From European champions to World Cup elimination in just nine months.
March 25 – The public face of the Qatar World Cup has hit back at Dutch coach Louis van Gaal for criticising the decision to hold the event in the Gulf state, countering that van Gaal has failed to understand the Arab world’s passion for football.
March 25 – Costa Rica catapulted themselves back into contention for a place at the Qatar 2022 World Cup with a 1-0 win over group leaders Canada, the first time the Canadians have been beaten in the final round of qualifying.
March 25 – Iraq stunned the United Arab Emirates with a 1-0 win to move them to within a point of the UAE and the Qatar 2022 play-off spots with a game to go.
March 24 – Japan and Saudi Arabia have ensured their passage to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar following the Samurai Blue’s dramatic last-gasp 2-0 win against the Socceroos in Sydney.
March 23 – Excitement and anticipation is mounting ahead of next week’s World Cup draw in Qatar which will be conspicuous by the three slots that will still be open because of Russia’s war with Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic.
March 23 – On Thursday, Australia will host Japan in a blockbuster that will all but decide the fate of two of the powerhouses in Asia’s final round of World Cup qualifying. Graham Arnold and the Socceroos must win if they are to remain in contention for an automatic qualifying place for Qatar 2022.
March 23 – FIFA has opened up another ticket buying window for the Qatar 2022 World Cup ahead of the Final Draw next week.
March 22 – Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has rekindled the controversy over staging the 2022 World Cup in Qatar by describing the move as “ridiculous” and has lambasted the idea that it would help grow the game in the tiny Gulf state.
March 22 – FIFA has launched the volunteer programme for the 2022 World Cup, with 20,000 places looking to be filled.
March 21 – So near but so far. Iraqi dreams of hosting their remaining home tie in the final group stage of Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying have been dashed following unrest in the country.
March 18 – The Solomon Islands defeated the Cook Islands 2-0 to kick off the eight-team Oceania World Cup qualifiers with a ticket for the intercontinental playoffs at stake, but on the first day of the tournament Tahiti – Vanuatu had to be postponed because of a Covid-19 outbreak.
March 14 – FIFA are back in discussion with Amnesty International over the conditions for migrant workers in Qatar in connection with the World Cup. This time the discussion is not focussed on construction workers by on those in the service and hospitality sector.
By Andrew Warshaw
March 9 – As anticipated, Poland has been awarded a bye over Russia in their World Cup playoff semi-final scheduled for March 24 and will now meet the winner of Sweden-Czech Republic to secure a place in Qatar.