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Raging over rainbows, booze ban among top five controversies of the World Cup

Durban – The 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar has reached its conclusion with Argentina emerging as champions.

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The first-ever winter World Cup evoked great debate on numerous subjects ahead of its first staging in the middle east.

IOL Sport’s Smiso Msomi provides the Top Five controversies of the World Cup:

The Alcohol Ban

On November 18, less than 48 hours before the start of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar, football’s governing body announced that alcohol would not be sold or permitted inside or around the World Cup venues.

Their decision, inspired by the conservative nature of the Arab nation, evoked, unsurprisingly, huge criticism as supporters from all over the world described their decision and the timing of the announcement as an imposition of their own culture on the travelling contingent.

Critical VAR calls

The Video Assistant Referee overturned a total of 25 decisions and rejected two in the course of the World Cup, some of those decisions coming in the most high-profile matches.

The biggest was Japan’s second goal in their 2-1 victory against Spain, at first glance the ball looked to have gone over the line for a goal kick however the VAR deemed Kaoru Mitoma’s cross to have been in the field of play, and the result ultimately eliminated 2014 champions Germany.

Argentina celebrations

The Albicelestes group have earned themselves a lot of admirers in this World Cup for their sheer passion and fighting spirit but some of their celebrations in the most dramatic matches left a lot to be desired.

Led by their captain, Lionel Messi, justified or not, Argentina sealed a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over the Netherlands before numerous members of the squad ‘rebutted’ comments made to them before the game, with those images splitting opinions.

Death of journalist and photographer at World Cup

With all of its excitement and theatrics on the field, the World Cup also saw two tragedies as American sports writer Graht Wahl and Qatari photographer Khalid Al Misslami lost their lives.

The two men are said to have collapsed while on duty. Eric Wahl, the brother of Graht made shocking accusations as he stated that he felt his brother had been killed following his stances on LGBTQI+ issues.

The Rainbow Armband

England captain Harry Kane led a number of captains in attempts to wear the Rainbow captain’s armband in Qatar where homosexuality is banned.

The One Love armband has become a global symbol for raising awareness in discrimination against homophobia.

However their advances were squashed as Fifa threatened to sanction any national team that wore anything with a rainbow on it, inciting an uproar from a majority of the western countries competing in the event.


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