FIFA World Cup 2022 at Qatar is already a very unique edition since it is for the first time that a gulf nation is hosting it and for the first time this footballing spectacle will be happening during the winters. The expenses of the tournament is approximately 18 times greater than the last edition and the viewership will also see a major spike.
Other than that, in the field, there will be changes too. Certain technologies are being introduced and FIFA have found out ways to curb injuries to fasten the game without any disruptions.
1. Teams can have up to 5 substitutions – This is one of the best news that the managers have received prior to the world cup. A team can make as many as 5 substitutions instead of the regular 3 subs which was on display till the last world cup. Even in club competitions across Europe, most notably in the top 5 leagues, 5 substitutions were allowed for every team. This will heavily boost all the squads having immense depth and the chances of sustaining injuries will also reduce.
2. Squads now consist of 26 players instead of 23 – The first change is somehow co-related to the second. Earlier, Squads were allowed to have only 23 players but this time around the managers can have a 26-man squad. It will benefit the teams in case a player gets a red card or a player gets ruled out of the tournament due to injuries. Some Managers will welcome this change with both hands as they can have options for several positions in the team.
3. During Penalties Goalkeepers will have to keep a foot on the line – During Penalty shoot outs or when a team is awarded a penalty, the goalkeeper will have to keep some part of their feet on the line. This rule has already been implemented in leagues around but for the first time in this tournament, this new rule will be applied when the penalties are taken.
4. Semi-automated offside technology – The Video Assistant Referees (VAR) were first introduced in the FIFA World cup 2018 and leagues all across Europe have adopted the same. Although a lot of players and pundits have shown their disagreement on it saying “it harms the spirit of the game” and “a lot of time gets wasted as well”. While the VAR will still be on use this year but other than that FIFA have introduced a “Semi-automated technology for offsides”. The new ball “Al-rihla” will ensure that the side line referees get to know about when the player has went offside.
5. Female Referees – Female referees will officiate World Cup games for the first time. Referees such as France’s Stephanie Frappart, Rwanda’s Salima Mukansanga, and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita have been recognised as the first women to referee games at the men’s FIFA World Cup event. In addition, for the first time, three female assistance referees will be present at the World Cup in Qatar. Assistant referees have previously been seen in the Premier League and the Champions League.