News, direct, and developments in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

With Qatar 2022, the FIFA World Cup is ready for one of its most exclusive editions. Het Nieuwsblad sends four football editors to the Middle East and, with the help of our office, stays 24/7 on the trail of the Red Devils and other World Cup participants. Catch it all live here!

Football editor

  • * The Red Devils are in Kuwait for the training match against Egypt, watch their program here (Read more here)
    * Casualties in the best countries, all choices are known (Read more here)
  • Romelu Lukaku trained for the first time on the training ground yesterday, but he continued to do it individually. The opener against Canada (next Wednesday) comes very early for the number nine. Who should take office? There are six options: Dries Mertens, Eden Hazard, Charles De Ketelaere, Leandro Trossard, Loïs Openda and Michy Batshuayi. We weigh them against each other.

    Read more via the link below.

  • The first practice match of the day is over. Ghana beat Switzerland 2-0. Great performance by the Ghanaians, because the Swiss played with their strongest team. The goals were scored by Mohamed Salisu (Southampton) and Antoine Cimeno (Bristol City).

    Denis Odoi (Club Brugge) remained on the bench for the entire match. Kamal Sowah was allowed to fill in for half an hour. Elisha Owusu (AA Gent) played for an hour.

  • Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni may need to make some changes to his 26-man squad for the World Cup. Forward Paulo Dybala (Roma), defender Christian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur) and midfielders Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina) and Alejandro “Papu” Gomez (Sevilla) are unfit.

    “Some players are not at 100 percent. We have some minor problems,” Scaloni explained. “We still have a few days to decide on the roster. I’m honest, I can’t say they’re 100 percent. But we can still make changes. I hope we don’t have to, but the possibility is there.”

  • Anas Zarouri, 22, joined the Moroccan national team in Doha. The former Belgium Under-21 international was given a warm welcome by national coach Walid Regragui.

  • The Red Devils also have sponsorship commitments in Kuwait. It became an autograph session at the Marine Hotel, where the Devils reside, followed by a football show. Eden Hazard and a local free agent have performed a number there.

  • The Red Devils’ families are allowed to sleep in the Red Devils Hotel for one night during the group stage: after the second match against Morocco. However, it is not at all certain that the relatives of all the players will accept the proposal. Expensive flight and hotel prices – to travel to Qatar for one night is a shame – raise suspicion.

    Read more via the link below.

  • There are five international friendlies for World Cup participants on the program today. Overview:

    Ghana – Switzerland (11 am)

    Japan – Canada (14h40)

    Morocco – Georgia (5 pm)

    Jordan – Spain (5 pm)

    Portugal – Nigeria (19h45)

  • The first friendly match of the day is scheduled to take place at 11 am. Ghana faces Switzerland. Elisha Owusu (AA Gent) plays in the starting line-up, and Denis Odoi and Kamal Sowah (Club Brugge) start on the bench.

  • The Germans also arrived in Doha after the exhibition match in Amman (0-1 win). In the photo below you will recognize, among others, national coach Hansi Flick and Serge Gnabry with sunglasses and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (left).

    © AFP

  • Costa Rica, a participant in the World Cup, canceled the exhibition match against Iraq, which is usually today at 3 pm. When Costa Ricans wanted to cross the border between Kuwait and Iraq, they had to have their passports stamped. This was not the prior agreement and therefore the selection of Costa Rica did not cross the border and the friendly match was cancelled.

  • According to forecasts by the statistics agency Gracenote, the Red Devils have a better chance of winning the world title than big countries such as France, Portugal, England and Germany. Brazil is my first favourite.

    Here are the results from a large number of course simulations that Gracenote has run:

    Brazil: 20% chance

    Argentina: 16%

    Spain: 7%

    The Netherlands, 7 percent

    Belgium: 6%

    France: 5%

    Portugal: 5%

    Denmark: 4 percent

    Uruguay: 4 percent

    England: 3%

    Germany: 3%

  • The Belgian Football Association has already got 10.1 million euros because it will be there in the Qatar World Cup. This amount can increase per round… up to 45.6 million with a world title.

    Read more via the link below.

  • Press officer Stefan Van Lok faced a difficult task in the first press conference of the Red Devils in Kuwait yesterday. Because of the chaos in the press room and the conversations of the Kuwaiti journalists – even while Los Opinda and Leandro Trossard were speaking – the press secretary had to intervene several times.

  • The Argentine national team arrived in Doha last night. After the exhibition match in and against the United Arab Emirates (0-5 win), the Argentines took a plane to the Qatari capital.

  • Will Canada star Alphonso Davies make it to the opening match against the Red Devils? The speedy winger from Bayern Munich has yet to make it to the Canadian national team. Bayern is keeping him (for a while?) in Germany because he has recently had an injury.

    Read more via the link below.

  • Will we see the best version of Jérémy Doku again at the World Cup? Despite numerous injuries, the 20-year-old sprint bombard from Stade Rennes has been included in Roberto Martinez’s World Cup selection in recent seasons. “People seem to have forgotten Jeremy, at the World Cup, he wants to show who he really is again,” Brother Jefferson told Het Nieuwsblad.

    Read more via the link below.

  • The West Flemish part of the Nieuwsblad delegation during the World Cup leaves for Qatar today. Jurgen Girrell and Peter-Jean Calquin will board the plane from Zaventem to Doha, where they will follow the ins and outs of the Belgians. Teammates Ludo Vandewalle and Yanko Beeckman (from Antwerp, by the way) join in after the Red Devils’ game against Egypt. They are currently in Kuwait.

  • good morning! Three more sleeps until the start of the World Cup in Qatar, and five more sleeps until the start of the World Cup for the Red Devils. Today on the Belgian programme:

    3:45 pm: Press conference Roberto Martinez + player

    4:30 pm: Training at Jabbar Al-Ahmad Stadium in Kuwait, the last training before tomorrow’s exhibition match against Egypt

  • You could argue that there is no reason to change after Argentina’s resounding 0-5 victory over the United Arab Emirates. But Lionel Scaloni, the coach of the national team, indicated after the training match that the current selection of 26 players may still be subject to tampering, as some players will not be fully fit.

    “Defender Christian Romero and forwards Nicolas Gonzalez, Alejandro Gomez and Paulo Dybala are still recovering after some discomfort,” Scaloni told Reuters. “So we have some issues, but we still have a few days to decide on the final list. We can still change, hopefully it won’t be necessary, but there is potential.”

    FIFA rules allow World Cup teams to replace injured or sick players up to 24 hours before the opening match. Argentina’s World Cup kicks off on November 22 against Saudi Arabia.

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