A World Cup Filled with Firsts

The World Cup is underway, and it’s already one for the historical past books. It’s anticipated that greater than 5 billion individuals (greater than half the planet) will tune in and watch the crowning occasion of the attractive recreation.

Whereas this historic occasion has been taking place for practically 100 years, this 12 months’s event has continued to form the sport and introduce new components by no means earlier than seen. Let’s check out a few of the firsts.

Host nation

One large stat that stands out is that that is the primary time the World Cup has been hosted by a rustic within the Center East. Digging into the info, World Cup hosts have been concentrated in North and South America and Europe, with a couple of exceptions across the globe.

A part of the rationale that there are such a lot of firsts on this World Cup is that Qatar is making a distinction in the way it’s managing it.

  • Qatar can be the smallest nation to ever host the World Cup. This implies it’s the primary time followers can attain all of the venues by rail or street; they gained’t should fly throughout the nation to get to a different stadium.
  • It’s the primary time the World Cup has been hosted within the winter fairly than the summer season. It made sense to maneuver it to a cooler season of the 12 months; summer season temperatures in Qatar can common 113 levels Fahrenheit.
  • It’s additionally the primary time the World Cup has been hosted in a Muslim-majority nation.

Largest purse and equal pay

This World Cup options probably the most prize cash ever. The entire pool is greater than $440 million, and the winner will take house $42 million. And this World Cup is predicted to herald a number of billion {dollars} in income.

The $42 million first-place prize for the lads’s occasion is considerably bigger than what was paid out within the ladies’s World Cup in 2019. The successful staff there obtained $4 million. That’s a part of what led to the US nationwide soccer groups voting on equal pay. That is the primary time in World Cup historical past that males’s and ladies’s groups will pool and evenly cut up their prize cash from their worldwide tournaments.


The World Cup can be performed throughout 8 stadiums, 7 of which have been constructed model new. Whereas growing new infrastructure to host a serious worldwide occasion is nothing new, Qatar made it a barely extra fascinating knowledge level than regular by constructing one stadium from delivery containers that can be utterly dismantled after the World Cup. Different stadiums have already got plans in place to be partially dismantled and repurposed after the World Cup is over.

Whereas Qatar’s claims of internet hosting the primary carbon-neutral World Cup have been disputed, all 8 stadiums have obtained not less than a four-star ranking from the World Sustainability Evaluation System (GSAS).

The stadiums aren’t with out controversy. Qatar because the host nation has garnered some worldwide criticism based mostly on its observe document with human rights. The overwhelming majority of the labor for constructing the stadiums got here from migrant employees.

Offside expertise

Soccer has been using Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in worldwide tournaments for years. However that is the primary time the expertise can be used to trace offsides on the World Cup. VAR has limb-tracking expertise that analyzes 29 knowledge factors on every participant on the sector always. Will probably be used to help referees in figuring out tight offsides calls, and the expertise can robotically detect offsides and alert the on-field officiating crew of the penalty.


Prior to now, groups have solely been allowed to journey with 23 gamers and have three substitutes. This World Cup is completely different (sustaining expanded guidelines throughout COVID-19 play), and every staff is allowed to convey 26 gamers with 5 subs.

Feminine referees

Right here’s a enjoyable knowledge level for you: that is the primary time the lads’s World Cup may have feminine referees. Three out of the 36 referees can be ladies, with three extra ladies working as assistant referees.

Domo knowledge

It’s additionally the primary time we’ve pulled collectively all of the publicly out there historic knowledge on the World Cup and arrange a Domo dashboard. You’ll be able to try the info and mess around to seek out your personal insights concerning the World Cup. Use it to trace the outcomes of every recreation, take a look at historic knowledge, and analyze how this World Cup compares to these previously.

What different firsts will we see? Time will inform as the sector continues to compete and the principle storylines begin to emerge.