Viewing the Qatar World Cup at LFA


Max Ma, Senior Editor of Social Justice

The FIFA World Cup is a soccer event with a great global influence, symbolizing the highest honor for every soccer player. This year’s World Cup takes place in Qatar, being the first one held by a middle-eastern country during the Northern Hemisphere Winter. The opening game starts at 10 a.m. on November 20th, and the final will be at 9 a.m. on December 18th. Since the World Cup is only held every four years, the 2022 Qatar World Cup is the first and last time that any LFA student can enjoy the exciting event in high school. 


Contested by 32 different countries from six continents, the significance of the World Cup tournament lies within its role in promoting global diversity and inclusiveness. Ackim Mpofu, Head Coach of the JV boys and girls varsity soccer team, shared his view on the World Cup game in general, saying, “if you look at football [soccer], it’s very much a global sport, so it brings people together. You get to see different countries represented, it’s the most watched tournament in the world.” Mpofu believes that the World Cup provides an opportunity for people to put aside their political and cultural differences and unite together.


In previous years, the World Cup usually took place during the summer. However, this year, due to Qatar’s intense summer heat and humidity, the 2022 World Cup will be held from late November to mid December. This is one of the busiest times for a lot of major soccer leagues around the world. As players didn’t get a break from their regular season people will be seeing a lot of substitutions and injuries, making this year’s World Cup a unique one—in addition to showing skill and teamwork, it will also show the resilience of the players. 


Beyond that, this special schedule allowed more LFA students to enjoy the games with classmates and friends. As Andrew Wong ’24 expressed, “This World Cup is unique. It is important for me, as it only happens once every 4 years and it is the time I can hang out and chill with my friends while watching the biggest moments of football [soccer].” Mpofu also shared his prospective plans on watching the games, “I will get a chance to watch it with my friends during Thanksgiving, and watch it with some of my students for the games in the morning.” Mpofu further discussed his plan to score up on the board for his classes, so that he can also engage with the students through this influential global tournament.


However, beyond the excitement, this year’s World Cup also comes with many controversies. One of them is the big scandal of bribery. In 2020, the U.S. Justice Department alleges that representatives working for Russia and Qatar bribed FIFA officials to win the right to host the men’s soccer World Cup. Another major aspect of controversy is the human rights violations surrounding the construction for the World Cup stadiums in Qatar. Some students expressed certain disappointments to these scandals. Sunwoo Hwang ’24 shared,“I heard that about 6,500 workers died during the construction in Qatar, so I don’t feel good compared to the other years.” 


These related controversies have certainly cast a cloud over this year’s World Cup. Nevertheless, this influential global tournament will still be a once-in-four year experience with friends and families, and an opportunity to unite people of different cultures and backgrounds together under one collective purpose: to enjoy the beautiful game of soccer.