Canada is in the World Cup. Here’s what you need to know to cheer along


With lower than two weeks till kickoff at the FIFA World Cup, Canada’s nationwide males’s group is placing the remaining touches on its preparations for a match 36 years in the making.

The group has solely ever certified as soon as earlier than — again in 1986 — which implies a complete new era of supporters are actually gearing up to cheer for the nationwide squad as they head into the world’s high soccer match.

To assist Canadians perceive the path to the cup, and who would possibly finally win, CBC News has ready a information for bandwagon followers, with every part you need to know about the stunning recreation — and Canada’s possibilities.

Do you have a query about the World Cup? Send it to us at

Soccer beginner, right here! What fundamentals ought to I know?

The World Cup takes place each 4 years. Canada is one in every of 32 groups who’re collaborating after qualifying in their continental federation’s match.

Qatar is internet hosting this yr’s match (it is controversial — extra on that later) and can kick off the opening match in opposition to Ecuador on Nov. 20. 

The World Cup remaining takes place on Dec. 18, with the winner taking residence the FIFA World Cup trophy.

In case you had been questioning, there’s additionally a Women’s World Cup, which might be held in Australia and New Zealand subsequent July — and Canada might be enjoying.

The Al Thumama Stadium is pictured in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday. Qatar has spent tens of billions of {dollars} on new infrastructure for the World Cup. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

How does the competitors work?

First, the group stage: The groups are separated into eight teams of 4, and can play every group in their very own group as soon as. There might be 4 matches every day over a 12-day interval.

In this stage, a win is price three factors, a draw price one and a loss earns zero factors. The high two groups from every group — that is, the groups with the most “factors” — will advance to the knockout spherical.

The knockout spherical: The remaining 16 groups will play in opposition to completely different teams (for example, the high group in group A will play the second-top group in group B).  Each shedding group is eradicated from the match till the semifinals, when there are 4 groups left. Two will advance to the remaining, whereas the remaining two will play for third place.

Who is Canada enjoying in opposition to?

Canada is in group F, so will play Belgium (Nov. 23), Croatia (Nov. 27) and Morocco (Dec. 1) in the group stage.

For the soccer uninitiated, that is three powerful match-ups: Belgium is at present second in FIFA’s males’s rankings, Croatia misplaced the 2018 World Cup remaining to France, and Morocco was undefeated in their World Cup qualifying run.

So, we’re not going to win the World Cup?

Experts say most likely not — however do not let that get you down.

Remember: this is Canada’s second ever World Cup. In 1986, the group misplaced all three video games, with out scoring a single aim.

Canada’s group sings the nationwide anthem forward of a pleasant match in opposition to Qatar in Vienna on Sept. 23. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

“The benchmark of success, in some methods, is a aim … If they get a win, that may be monumental,” mentioned soccer author Chris Jones, who might be in Qatar protecting the World Cup for CBC Sports.

“If Canada will get out of the group [stage], that is unbelievable, like, that is our model of successful the World Cup.”

Who’s seemingly to win, then?

Bookmakers are favouring Brazil to win the match, adopted by Argentina, who hasn’t received the cup since 1986.

France, the 2018 champs, are third favorite, adopted by England, whose followers are praying for his or her first World Cup title since 1966.

Brazil is the bookmakers’ favorite to win the World Cup. The group’s captain, Neymar, is pictured in Rio de Janeiro on June 23, 2021. (Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)

Tell me extra about the Canadian group. Who ought to I name-drop?

Star midfielder Alphonso Davies is one in every of the world’s greatest younger soccer gamers. Fans had been left fearful after the 22-year-old suffered a hamstring pressure whereas enjoying for Bayern Munich over the weekend, however the membership advised CBC News that Davies’ participation in the World Cup “is not in danger.” 

Tajon Buchanan, 23, is additionally a rising worldwide star who performs for Belgian First Division A aspect Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League. “This is a really thrilling participant. This is a man who opposing defenders completely detest coping with as a result of he is so fast,” mentioned soccer journalist John Molinaro, a CBC contributor and the founding father of TFC Republic.

Captain Atiba Hutchinson is overcoming a protracted harm to play in his first World Cup. At 39, it is also set to be his final. “From an emotional perspective, it’s going to be enjoyable to see him [play],” mentioned Andi Petrillo, host of CBC Sports’ Soccer North.

Also maintain an eye fixed out for defensive midfielder Stephen Eustaquio and ahead Jonathan David who’re each heading to Qatar from standout seasons in Europe. “If you had to place a wager on which Canadian man was going to rating the first aim in World Cup historical past, I believe Jonathan David is a extremely good wager,” Jones mentioned.

WATCH | An replace on Alphonso Davies’ harm: 

Alphonso Davies Injury replace, Canada Soccer’s stars impress

Soccer North host, Andi Petrillo will get you caught up with how Canada’s greatest did round globe this week in ‘Keeping Up with the Canadians’.

You talked about there’s controversy round this World Cup. Tell me extra?

There are a number of, together with the warmth, Qatar’s human rights file, Iran’s participation and, as has turn out to be the World Cup norm, corruption allegations involving FIFA.

First, the warmth: Expect to see the gamers sweating in 30 C+ temperatures. The match was moved from June-July to November to maintain it a bit cooler. But that shift additionally means many gamers are coming straight from European and North American soccer seasons, with out a break to acclimatize to the warmth.

“They are most likely going to be a bit extra sloppy and slower, so to communicate, in their play than in the event that they had been in a form of an ideal thermal scenario,” mentioned Prof. Stephen Cheung, an professional in environmental stress on human physiology at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont.

A migrant employee sleeps on a bench in entrance of Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Oct. 15. Qatar’s therapy of migrant employees, together with these developing its World Cup stadiums, has been in the highlight in the lead-up to the match. (Nariman El-Mofty/The Associated Press)

That warmth has additionally confirmed lethal for doubtlessly 1000’s of migrant employees in Qatar, a determine Qatar’s authorities disputes, which brings us to one other controversy: Qatar’s human rights file.

Same-sex relationships are criminalized in the host nation, with LGBTQ+ individuals going through arbitrary arrest and abuse from safety forces, in accordance to Human Rights Watch. 

Then there’s Iran’s participation: in current days, Ukraine and worldwide activists have known as on FIFA to ban Iran from collaborating due to its function supplying weapons to Russia, in addition to its crackdown on activists.

FIFA has responded by telling groups to “concentrate on the soccer”, fairly than human rights points, at the similar time as the soccer group continues to be dogged by corruption allegations.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino lately wrote to the 32 groups collaborating in the World Cup, urging them to ‘concentrate on the soccer,’ fairly than human rights points in Qatar. Infantino is pictured in Managua, Nicaragua, in August. (Inti Ocon/The Associated Press)

The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that FIFA officers took bribes in trade for awarding Qatar the internet hosting rights again in 2010. It’s simply one in every of many such accusations levelled in opposition to FIFA and its management in current years.

Yikes. OK. Anything else I needs to be looking forward to?

Two large names in soccer are (most likely) enjoying their remaining World Cup: Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Neither has ever received the World Cup, so hoisting the trophy throughout their remaining match can be a large deal for both captain — and their nation’s followers.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, left, and Argentina’s Lionel Messi are seemingly enjoying their remaining World Cup. Neither has received the trophy throughout their profession. The pair are pictured enjoying for European golf equipment in Barcelona on Dec. 8, 2020. (Albert Gea/Reuters)

Any suggestions for my World Cup viewing schedule?

You can view the schedule to this point right here. Unfortunately for Canadian followers, World Cup kickoff occasions are between 5 a.m. and a couple of p.m. ET, which might make it difficult to tune in on a workday (particularly from a bar), until your boss is additionally a soccer fan. 

Finally, am I supposed to say soccer or soccer?

Although Canada, the U.S. and Australia name the recreation “soccer,” the World Cup is formally a “soccer” competitors, and FIFA is quick for Fédération Internationale de Football Association. You can maintain calling it soccer if you need — simply be ready for different groups’ followers to appropriate you.

Watch the new CBC Sports present Soccer North airing weekly on CBC Gem, and the CBC Sports YouTube channel. Hosted by Andi Petrillo, Soccer North brings Canadians nearer to the most fascinating soccer headlines taking place on and off the pitch. Soccer North might be LIVE following all of Canada’s video games in Qatar.


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