Why are Asian countries unable to participate in the title race?
Asian countries had high hopes this time in FIFA World Cup 2022.
Manish Kumar Joshi
One reason for this was that this time the World Cup was being held in an Asian country and the other reason for hope was that this time five Asian countries had qualified for the World Cup. Including Australia in this, six countries became eligible from Asia. FIFA has also placed Australia in the Asian confederation.
There was a lot of enthusiasm among the Asian supporters due to the World Cup being held in Qatar. Asian countries also managed to capitalize on this enthusiasm to some extent. Three teams including Australia qualified for the next round. Such was the performance of the Asian teams in the league matches that there was a feeling that the Asian confederation teams were making their presence felt.
When Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina, sensation spread all over the world. This was the biggest upset of 2022. South Korea beat Ronaldo’s Portugal to progress to the second round, while Japan beat football superpowers Spain and Germany to reach the second round. For the first time in Football World Cup history, three teams from the faded Asian confederation made it to the last 16 but none failed to repeat their previous best performance.
As far as vicissitudes are concerned, in the past also Asian teams have made big teams their victims in the World Cup. This series has been going on since 1938 when for the first time a team was able to qualify for the final. Indonesia qualified for the first time where it was eliminated after losing to Hungary. The 2022 FIFA World Cup was an average success for Asian teams, but the 2002 World Cup was the most successful for Asian countries before that when South Korea reached the semi-finals. This World Cup was organized jointly by Japan and Korea.
South Korea also had a great performance in 2010 when they defeated Uruguay 2–1 in the last 16 to reach the quarterfinals. In the 1996 World Cup, North Korea made it to the quarter-finals by showing excellent play in the group stage. In 1994, Saudi Arabia defeated Morocco. Japan made it to the quarter-finals in 2002 and 2010. Asian teams have been flipping after an interval but this flip is not to the extent that they change the course of Asian football. Asian teams lack consistency in their game. Asian teams explode in FIFA after a gap, but the echo of this explosion is not heard for a long time.
So far 13 countries have played in the final for the FIFA World Cup. This includes South Korea, North Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Japan, Israel, Qatar, Iran, China and Australia. South Korea and Japan have been most successful in this. Japan’s sport has had the most consistency. He has qualified for the second round three times. South Korea is the only team that has reached the semi-finals. The biggest reason for the continuity in Japan’s game is that the maximum number of 18 Japanese players play for European teams. These include Takehino, Tomiyashu, Taru Mitoma and Ueda, who played for Arsenal.
In this World Cup, reaching the next round of Japan, South Korea and Australia is a step towards success. Qualifying six countries for the World Cup and then reaching the next round of three countries can be called success, but this success is not going to take a step towards winning the World Cup. In 80 years, no country has been able to achieve the capability of winning the World Cup. What is it that the countries of Asia have not been able to become a challenge in this game. Countries like India and China do not hold any position in spite of huge population.
For this work has to be done on two fronts. To popularize football at par with other popular sports and to strengthen the existing leagues in the country. With these two measures, football will progress rapidly in Asia. If Japan and South Korea try, they can become a challenge in the years to come. 48 teams will play in the next World Cup. In such a situation, opportunities will also increase for Asian teams.