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Despite shunning FIFA opening ceremony, BBC poll shows Qatar WC best in 21st century


With a staggering 78% of the vote, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was selected as the "best World Cup this century" in a BBC Sport poll. The 2002 World Cup (Japan/South Korea) came in second place with only 6% of the vote, followed by 2014 (Brazil) with 5%, 2006 (Germany) and 2018 (Russia), which tied for fourth place with 4% each, and 2010 (South Africa), which received 3%.

This comes despite BBC choosing to shun the World Cup opening ceremony and instead launching a tirade of criticisms of Qatar's human rights record. This decision resulted in the BBC receiving a lot of criticism from football fans in the UK.

For a variety of reasons, Qatar left a lasting impression on world football, culminating in Lionel Messi winning World Cup glory by overcoming a rival France team 3-2 on penalties. Morocco became the first African and Arab team to get to the semi-finals in Qatar, marking a number of historical firsts.

Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, and several other prominent sports figures hailed the event as the finest ever because it featured so many different teams and players. "Many people from around the world have come to Qatar and have discovered the Arab world, which they didn’t know or they knew only for what was portrayed to them,” the FIFA chief told reporters.

The Qatar 2022 World Cup changed the world in many ways, from the surprises, shocks, and upsets in the group stages to the thrill of the knockout rounds and probably the best final ever. Lionel Messi finally won the one prize he had failed to win throughout his extended career after Argentina's exciting penalty shootout victory over the defending champions France.

Goals galore and chaotic comebacks characterised the historic tournament, the first to be held in the Middle East, with Morocco and Japan among the sides who stood out.

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