The draw for Qatar 2022 fittingly took place on April Fools’ Day, the first time FIFA determined its World Cup groups without knowing every participant.
No lip-synching crooners or Bedouin acrobats or even the potential next 007, although emcee Idris Elba’s odds are long, could mask the fact that only 29 squads of the field of 32 were placed into eight groups.
Two intercontinental spots and a European berth will be filled in June.
That’s FIFA. Every four years, though, the quadrennial event produces magnificent theater in spite of the buffoons who lord over the sport’s global governing body.
(Thankfully, the inane idea of staging it every two years appears to be disintegrating.)
It’s the first time an Arab country will play World Cup host, with the inevitable delay to November/December — another first — to escape the region’s infernal summer — the Devil’s Anvil, to parrot Peter O’Toole.
And that alteration delivered low blows to Nevada, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and the 27 other U.S. jurisdictions that have legal sports betting.