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World Cup: World Cup 101

In an increasingly fractious world, it's comforting to engage in an event that is shared by billions of people across the planet to watch this sport that as become a global fascination.  And while the World Cup does not have as large of a U.S. following as other sporting events such as the Super Bowl and World Series, millions of Americans will tune in to cheer on the men's team for the first time since 2014.

This guide will hit a few World Cup highlights, scratch the surface about the history of Qatar, and cover some of the (many) controversies that have plagued 2022 games.

World Cup Links

Al Jazeera report presents an overview of the World Cup

Pele - World Cup Hero - From the UST Music & Media Collection

Qatar World Cup Poses Unprecedented Challenges in Soccer’s Quest to Capture America’s Attention


In the coming months, the soccer world will turn its attention to November’s Qatar World Cup, a multibillion-dollar spectacle poised to be unlike any World Cup before it.  But only months ahead of the World Cup, just 16% of U.S. adults say they have heard "a lot" or "some" about soccer's biggest event.

The 2022 World Cup at St. Thomas

Find out where and when to watch the games on campus. 
From the Office of International Students and Scholars.

World Cup Mascots from 1966 to the Present

"Coming into Qatar 2022, for the first time in tournament history, a piece of clothing has become the creative foundation for the mascot. Named ‘La’eeb’, it is inspired by the keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men." 

Click here or on the image for more details about World Cup mascots past and present.  

World Cup Population Game

Try your luck with the Census Bureau's interactive Cup-themed game.
World Cup Population game

Fun Facts about World Cup Soccer

  • Thirteen teams competed in the first World Cup in 1930. Host Uruguay won.
  • In 2026, FIFA, the international football governing body, plans to increase the number to 48 teams.
  • Europe has hosted the World Cup 11 times.
  • South America has hosted the World Cup five times.
  • North America has hosted the World Cup three times.
  • Asia has hosted the World Cup twice.
  • Africa hosted the World Cup once. 
  • Brazil's Pelé is the only player who has claimed three World Cup winners' medals (1958, 1962, and 1970).
  • Brazil has competed in all 21 World Cups and won five titles.
  • Germany has competed in 19 World Cups and won four titles.
  • The United States has competed in 11 World Cups. It has not won any titles but finished third in the first World Cup in 1930.

From The United States Census -