With the FIFA World Cup in Qatar entering its final round of group games, there will be changes in timings of the matches.
From November 29, two matches of the same group will be played simultaneously instead of at different times as in the first and second rounds of group fixtures.
Why has the format changed?
To know why this is being done, one needs to go back to the 1982 World Cup in Spain. A group match between West Germany and Austria at the El Molinon stadium in Gijon, Spain, on June 25, which later came to be known as the ‘Disgrace of Gijon.’
Algeria had a memorable start to the edition as it beat West Germany 2-1 on the opening day. With the win, Algeria became the first African team to beat a European team at the football World Cup. It lost 0-2 to Austria in its second match before finishing its group stage with a 3-2 win against Chile. With two wins, Algeria also became the first-ever African team to win twice at a World Cup.
With Algeria playing its final group match a day before West Germany and Austria, the qualification scenarios were clear for both European teams.
A West Germany win by one or two goals would have seen the Germans and Austria qualify based on goal difference. A West Germany win by four goals or more would have been seen the former qualify with Algeria. A West Germany win by exactly three goals would have sent Algeria and Austria to the next tiebreaker (goals scored). In that scenario, where West Germany had won by a margin of three and a tiebreaker happened between the other two sides, Austria could have qualified only if it scored two goals or more in its defeat ( i.e 5-2 or 6-3 etc.)
In the match, the Germans bagged just one goal in the first 10 minutes. As the match progressed, the pace of the match gradually deteriorated, and there was no visible effort to play by either team, and West Germany won 1-0.
What was the outcome of the ‘Disgrace of Gijon’?
West Germany and Austria were accused of fixing the result, allowing both the European nations to qualify. But FIFA ruled that neither team had broken any rule in theory.
Since the ‘Disgrace of Gijon’, FIFA revised the structure of group games for future tournaments where the final two games in each group would be played simultaneously so that such scenarios don’t arise.
Streaming and telecast details of FIFA World Cup 2022 final group stage matches in Qatar –
|Day, Date and Time||Group Matches||Platforms|
|Tuesday, November 29 – 8:30PM IST||Group A – Ecuador vs Senegal||JioCinema, Sports18 – 1, MTV HD|
|Tuesday, November 29 – 8:30PM IST||Group A – Netherlands vs Qatar||JioCinema, Sports18 – 1 HD, MTV SD|
|Wednesday, November 30 – 12:30AM IST||Group B – Iran vs USA||JioCinema, Sports18 – 1 HD, MTV SD|
|Wednesday, November 30 – 12:30AM IST||Group B – Wales vs England||JioCinema, Sports18 – 1, MTV HD|
|Wednesday, November 30 – 8:30PM IST||Group D – Tunisia vs France||JioCinema, Sports18 – 1, MTV HD|
|Wednesday, November 30 – 8:30PM IST||Group D – Australia vs Denmark||JioCinema, Sports18 – 1 HD, MTV SD|
|Thursday, December 1 – 12:30AM IST||Group C – Poland vs Argentina||JioCinema, Sports18 – 1, MTV HD|
|Thursday, December 1 – 12:30AM IST||Group C – Saudi Arabia vs Mexico||JioCinema, Sports18 – 1 HD, MTV SD|
|Thursday, December 1 – 8:30PM IST||Group F – Canada vs Morocco||JioCinema, Sports18 – 1 HD, MTV SD|
|Thursday, December 1 – 8:30PM IST||Group F – Croatia vs Belgium||JioCinema, Sports18 – 1, MTV HD|
(Listings to be updated as and when official broadcaster announces)