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World Cup 2022: Draws Announced and Mascot Revealed

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By Martin Graham | 2nd Apr 2022

The FIFA 2022 World Cup is officially set after the FIFA event on Thursday saw the groups decided upon and the mascot revealed.

The FIFA event at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) was a very entertaining affair, as the over 2000 virtual and live attendees were treated to an unforgettable spectacle by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) of the 2022 World Cup local organising committee.

The event was hosted by British actor Idris Elba and British football journalist Reshmin Chowdhury and featured diverse performances from various artists to entertain the crowd. The official 2022 World Cup song, “Hayya Hayya” was also performed for the first time in front of the world by singers Aisha (Qatar, Asia/Middle East), Davido (Nigeria, Africa) and Trinidad Cardona (USA, North/Central America).

An emotional tribute was also paid to legends of the game who passed between the last world cup in 2018 and this current one. Former England goalkeeper Gordon Banks (died 2019), Argentine legend Diego Armando Maradona (died 2020), Italian World Cup winner Paolo Rossi (died 2020) and German legend Gerd Muller (died 2021) were remembered.

FIFA World Cup groups revealed

The draws were done with 29 of the 32 participating teams having been confirmed, as two intercontinental play-off matches will take place in June, along with the last European qualifiers. The groups were completed after a 45-minute process, and the eight groups decided upon are as follows:

Group A: Qatar (hosts), Ecuador, Netherlands, Senegal

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Scotland/Wales/Ukraine

Group C: Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland

Group D: France, UAE/Australia/Peru, Denmark, Tunisia

Group E: Spain, Costa Rica/New Zealand, Germany, Japan

Group F: Belgium, Canada, Morocco, Croatia

Group G: Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Ghana, Uruguay, South Korea

FIFA 2022 World Cup mascot revealed

The official mascot of the Qatar world cup, La’eeb, was also revealed to the delight of everyone present.

La’eeb is an Arabic word meaning super-skilled player, and he is a tech-based mascot who will exist in a parallel mascot-verse. Khalid Ali Al-Mawlawi, the Deputy Director-General, Marketing, Communications and Tournament Experience, SC, said of La’eeb: “We are delighted to unveil La’eeb as the Official Mascot for the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world.

“He comes from the mascot-verse – a place that is indescribable. We encourage everyone to imagine what it looks like.

“We are sure fans everywhere will love this fun and playful character. La’eeb will play a vital role as we engage fans young and old in Qatar’s FIFA World Cup experience.” 

La’eeb will be available for fans in the form of images, GIFs and stickers via a host of social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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