8 facts about World Cup as Harambee Stars dream to qualify for the first time in Kenya’s history

By Waweru Titus: Friday, March 13th 2020 at 14:43 GMT +3 | Football
Harambee Stars has been drawn in Group E together with Uganda, Mali and Rwanda. [Courtesy]

The World Cup is one of the most coveted and anticipated sporting tournaments on the planet. Every footballer’s dream is to showcase their talents in front of thousands of fans watching live, and billions of others following through social media and television.

Harambee Stars' dream to finally qualify for the 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar could be fulfilled for the first time in Kenya’s football history.

The 2022 World Cup qualifier draw results were released on Tuesday, January 21, Kenya being drawn in Group E alongside neighbours Uganda, Rwanda and Mali.

Kenya were placed in pot three, alongside Madagascar, Mauritania, Libya, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Niger, Central African Republic, Namibia, Guinea-Bissau.

At the most recent edition in 2018, Africa was represented by Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia.

Facts about the World Cup according to FIFA

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1. African teams in World Cup

Thirteen African teams have already taken part in the World Cup and are all still in the running to grace the 2022 edition: South Africa, Senegal, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Angola, DRC, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Togo Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia.

2022 World Cup

Forty teams will compete in 10 groups for the 2022 World Cup qualifier matches.

Winners from the first round join 26 top-seeded sides based on FIFA's world rankings.

The matches will take place from March 2020 until October 2021.

Group winners will advance to the third round which will be played in November 2021.

The five winners of the final round will secure berths in the 2022 World Cup.

Harambee stars Squad during their Africa Nations Championships (CHAN) match against Taifa Stars at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on August 04, 2019. [Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com]

2. African top scorers

Ghana's Asamoah Gyan tops the scoring charts with 6 goals, Cameroon's Roger Milla scored 5 times and Nigeria's Ahmed Musa netted 4 goals.

The furthest any African team has gone at the World Cup is the quarter-finals. Cameroon were the first to do so in 1990, before Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) emulated the feat.

3. Most watched event

In the 2018 World Cup in Russia, it is estimated that over three and a half billion people followed the event that France won after beating Croatia in the final. Every World Cup tends to break the previous most-watched record and the 2022 showpiece will be no different.

In the Women’s World Cup last year in France, the viewers increased to 1.12 billion. The final match between the US and the Netherlands drew an average live audience of 82.18 million and reached a total of 263.62 million unique viewers.

4. World Cup has been hosted by 17 nations

There have been 21 editions of the tournament from its inaugural appearance in 1930. The 17 nations that have hosted the event include; South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, South Korea, Switzerland, Italy, West Germany, United States of America, Brazil, Sweden, Chile, Canada, England, Mexico, France, Japan, Germany, and Russia. The next edition of 2022 is to be hosted in Qatar, while 2026 will be hosted by three nations namely, The United States of America, and Mexico.

The 1942 and 1946 events were, however, editions were cancelled due to World War II.

32 teams will participate in the 2022 World Cup. [Courtesy]

5. Most goals scored in a single tournament

Just Justo’ Fontaine from France holds the record for the most scored goals in a single World Cup. His record stands at an astonishing 13 goals in just six games.

6. More participating countries

Currently, there are 32 teams that will participate in the 2022 World Cup. However, FIFA announced the number is set to go up to 48 teams in the 2026 event.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be held in the US, Mexico and Canada, with a united bid from North America set to be hosted in three North American countries.

7. Expelled countries

Some countries were barred from participating in the qualifiers for the 2018 showpiece. Zimbabwe was barred from participating for refusing to pay their coach. Indonesia was also barred due to the government’s interference in matches.

8. The oldest player

Previously, the oldest player was Cameroon’s Roger Milla at 42 years, but in the 2018 event, the record was shattered by Colombian goalkeeper, Faryd Mondragon who set the new record at 43 years and three days old.

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