For Immediate Release
Bermuda and the rest of the world is about to come down with a massive case of FIFA Fever! Get ready to slap on your football jerseys and wave them flags high and proud, the 2014 FIFA World Cup officially kicks off tomorrow. Imagine how many cramp complaints LeBron James would have playing in sizzling hot Brazil with temps of over 40C with 80% humidity.
Whether you’re a novice or notorious World Cup fan, we’ve got you covered on everything you’ll need to know about World Cup.
Every four years, 32 teams from across the globe battle for football supremacy. This year the tournament will be held in Brazil from June 12 to July 13. Brazil was awarded the tournament by the Federation Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA in 2007. Brazil has since assigned 12 cities across their country as host cities. A football stadium was built in each city with the minimal seating capacity of 37,000 in Manaus (in Amazon) to 71,000 capacities in Rio de Janeiro.
How are teams selected?
There are 32 teams in the tournament and all, with the exception of the host city (Brazil) must compete in qualification rounds. For the 2014 World Cup, qualifying rounds occurred in 2011 and 2012, where approximately 200 teams from across the globe fought to earn their spot on the world stage.
How does the tournament work?
All 32 teams are assigned to one of eight groups of four (Group A – Group H). Teams are assigned by FIFA and selected in a way where not all teams from one region are put into the same group.
Teams must play each member of their group or a total of 64 matches. The top two teams from each group will then move on to the knockout rounds. Knockout rounds are where now top 16 teams (top 2 x 8 groups) are placed in a bracket format with the top team from Group A playing against the second-place team in Group B and so forth until there are two teams left. The final game will be played on Sunday, July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.
How does the group scoring work?
The World Cup uses a points system. A win is three points, a tie is one point and a loss is no point. Matches can only end in a tie in group play. In knockout rounds, if teams are still tied after 90 minutes of regulation, there are two 15 minute overtime periods. If the tie is not broken after overtime, they go to the shootout. In a shootout, each team selects five players to go against the other team’s goalie. This will continue until a clear winner is decided.
Basically, the teams who acquire the most points move on, unless teams are tied in points. If this occurs, FIFA uses additional criteria to decide on a winner (such as goal differential etc.).
Who’s looking good?
With top names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Brazil’s Neymar, it is difficult to choose one top country in the tournament. This stands true with Ronaldo and Suarez are battling injury. Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Portugal may currently shine brighter than the others, there are several sleeper cells that could totally upset the favs. Keep your eyes peeled on Belgium, France, Chile, Croatia (yes you read that correctly), and England who are more than happy to prove their critics wrong!
For all your FIFA World Cup scores, groupings, news and highlights, be sure to check out the official site at http://www.fifa.com/worldcup