World Cup Fever
A glimpse at the tournament and the interconnectivity of international sports
Written by Cael Shaw
The world has waited four years. We have endured humanitarian crises — trade wars, a global rise in authoritarianism, historical protests reminiscent of the civil rights era, record-breaking heat waves, wildfires and storms, threats to democracy around the world, a global pandemic — and once again, we are seeing armies march across Europe. With all this doom and gloom, humankind needs a break. We get that break for nearly a month (Nov. 20, 2022-Dec. 18, 2023) when the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar! Most soccer fans will remember the excitement around the 2018 World Cup in Russia. From the hype surrounding Belgium to Croatia’s Mario Mandžukić’s own goal in the final against France, 2018 was a tournament to remember.
Commonly known as the world’s most popular sport, soccer has been bringing the world together since FIFA’s inaugural world cup in 1930. During a time of imperialism, economic depression and European and American dominance, the small Latin American nation of Uruguay hosted the tournament in their capital city of Montevideo; instead of their larger, wealthier, European counterparts. The only time the tournament was not held was when the world collapsed into World War II (the 1942 and 1946 World Cups). Throughout the years, political, cultural and racial issues have affected the tournament, but all in all, the FIFA World Cup brings people together from all over the world.
We can be proud Cameroonians, Americans, Belgians and Costa Ricans without the added bigotry and hatred that generally surrounds nationalism.
One of the few things that unites humanity is a passion for sports, particularly soccer. Every four years, when the time comes for another victorious team to hoist the trophy … magic happens. We settle our differences not on the battlefield or in the streets but on the pitch. That is why the best to ever do it, Brazilian professional soccer player and minister of sports Pelé, championed the familiar term The Beautiful Game.
Why do international sports bring us together? The answer is simple: these competitions give each of us the opportunity to be proud of where we came from without putting others down. We can be proud Cameroonians, Americans, Belgians and Costa Ricans without the added bigotry and hatred that generally surrounds nationalism. There will always be heated rivalries in the world of international sports but it will always be settled on the field with peace, burning passion, and a sense of global community.
Way back in 2014, Cuban American singer Pitbull had the privilege of creating the official Brazil World Cup Song — “We Are One (Ole Ola).” He put it plainly when he said to “put your flags up in the sky and wave them side to side. Show the world where you’re from; Show the world we are one.” Every four years the world comes together to cheer for their nation on the global stage. It is one of the few moments where the world can claim to be united in the spirit of competition. We see a similar effect rallying around other international athletic competitions: the Olympics and Olympic family of events, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and the Rugby World Cup. We all have our differences, but during the World Cup tournament, we all have at least one thing in common: a passion for the Beautiful Game.
How do you as a Cleveland State student show support for your nation and enjoy the upcoming tournament? According to Thrillist.com, the best locations in and around Cleveland to watch the tournament include but are not limited to:
The Old Angle Tavern ~ Ohio City
Generally open from 12 p.m.- 2a.m. or 4 p.m.-1 a.m., this old Irish-style tavern has proudly served soccer fans since 2001. They boast, “Good fluid. Good food. Good feel. Good face.” I can personally attest to the quality and atmosphere of the Old Angle. This will be my choice for cheering on Team USA in Qatar!
Parnell’s Irish Pub ~ Downtown Cleveland & Cleveland Heights
Another classic Irish pub with a local twist. Parnell boasts the fact that they try their best to support local Cleveland breweries on top of the stereotypical Irish favorite, Guinness. The Playhouse Square location is typically open seven days a week from 3 p.m.-12 a.m. and its partner location in Cleveland Heights is also open seven days a week from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Since it’s just a short walk from campus, Parnell’s will be a student body favorite for watching the World Cup.
Becky’s ~ Downtown Cleveland
Located next to CSU’s own Krenzler Field, Becky’s has been a Cleveland favorite since spring 1986. With great food and a great atmosphere, Becky’s claims to be “downtown’s neighborhood bar.” Open seven days a week, from 11 a.m.-1 a.m. most days.
Winking Lizard ~ Several locations
With over five locations spanning from Avon to Downtown Cleveland to Mayfield, the Winking Lizard has been proudly serving the area since 1983. I think every CSU student can attest that the Winking Lizard has good food with an atmosphere to match. An all-time Cleveland favorite, especially for sports fans.
Want to snuggle up on the couch or host a World Cup watch party? From Nov. 20 through Dec. 8 you can tune into the FOX Sports family of channels, or the Telemundo family of channels for a Spanish-speaking program. The places to stream the games include the likes of NBC’s Peacock, Fubo, SlingTV and more!
2022 Fifa World Cup Qatar Team USA Schedule
Monday, Nov. 21 — USA vs. Wales (2 p.m. EST)
Friday, Nov. 25 — USA vs. England (2 p.m. EST)
Tuesday, Nov. 29 —- USA vs. Iran (2 p.m. EST)
Round of 16
Dec. 3-6 (TBD)
Dec. 9-10 (TBD)
Dec. 13-14 (TBD)
Match for Third Place — The highest Team USA has ever placed in the tournament (1930 World Cup)
Dec. 17 (TBD)
World Cup 2022 Final
Dec. 18 (TBD)
Enjoy the tournament, wave your flag high and be safe!