After watching one of sport’s greatest events of the world, I gathered up my thoughts to say why I liked this World Cup. The FIFA World Cup is a quadrennial spectacle of skill, speed, and play. I can talk all day about soccer, but I’m only writing about this tournament held in Russia- eastern Russia to be specific. All that transpired there led to me liking everything about this tournament. What I liked most about it was the inclusion of video assistant referee (VAR), reaction of Germany’s surprise elimination, and the country’s hospitality, all of which bettered soccer.
Throughout the game’s history, there have been oft-questionable calls by the main and sideline referees, particularly near and inside the penalty area. Constant talks went in and out by FIFA, soccer’s governing body, on introducing video technology to this World Cup, including replay for the referees. In comes the VAR, made official this year before the dawn of the World Cup. During the tournament and after, VAR was praised and criticized. It had viewers talking with mostly praise than chide, thus marking the VAR a success.
Success, however, was not in Germany’s favor this year. Known as the four-time winners of the World Cup, Germany advanced past the group stage since 1938. Germany began their 2014 title defense against Mexico, and lost 1 to 0. Sweden became the next opponents of Germany, which they won 2-1 and earning them three points. For the final game, Germany faced South Korea. Facing elimination, Germany needed a victory to qualify to the knockout stage. Only a scoreless draw was happening in this game until injury time, this time South Korea scoring not one but two goals. 2-0 was the final and Germany became eliminated, causing worldwide reaction according to a BBC Sport website article .
Russia’s national team was also eliminated despite making the quarterfinals losing to Croatia via penalty shootout, but the country gained respect and praise for hosting the tournament. Major network analysts and world prime ministers were skeptical of Russia hosting a world event. Russia has been scrutinized for racism, negativity towards the LGBT+ community, and political stances to name a few. It was only during and after the World Cup that every thing said and seen about Russia changed- more well-receptive hospitality of Russians in and around the stadiums and little to no violence throughout the event. According to an article from soccer website goal.com, there have only been “few recorded incidents of travelling fans being subjected to the sort of racial or homophobic harassment that was initially feared.”
A tournament without violence, technology to aid the referees, and a early, shocking Germany exit provided a sporting event like the World Cup so much rejuvenation. Viewers, fans who have attended, and broadcasting companies have so much to look forward to in the following years after witnessing a successful World Cup and possibly more good tournaments well-organized in countries such as Russia did this year.
As of now, the next World Cup is hosted by Qatar for the year 2022.