The World Cup Qatar’s opening ceremony is today The games, which normally start in late spring or summer, were pushed to accommodate the desert country’s climate — one of many reasons this is a weird World Cup.

The For the title of World Champion, the top national soccer teams will compete. The final will be viewed by around a billion people on December 18. Tariq Panja is a sports reporter The Times, is at the tournament (where it’s still about 85 degrees). I spoke with him about scandals and what to expect at the games.

Lauren: Lauren, I grew up watching a different style of football in Arkansas. Please give me an idea of the size of the stadium. World Cup Are you looking for the global?

Tariq: There’s nothing bigger than this, not even the Olympics. The World Cup It is the most viewed event in the entire world. It happens every four years, and it’s a highlight of many people’s lives.

These 32 teams are capturing the imagination of fans even beyond their borders, especially in Asia where many countries have never been eligible for the competition. World Cup. Individuals may join a team. They will be supported with a passion for their cause.

This is the fourth. World Cup you’ve covered. What’s different about this one?

It is the first time the games will be played in November and Dec. The schedule was altered due to the Qatari desert heat, which has caused chaos in the soccer world. For the first time in European soccer’s history, the season has been paused halfway through.. The time it takes for players to train with national teams is now shorter.

These games were traditionally held in large cities throughout huge countries such as Brazil, Russia and South Africa. This is the most remote location to host the tournament.

Qatar made the most extravagant offer in history to host the 2009 World Cup. World Cup. Why did it choose to host so badly

Qatar is a tiny speck in the Gulf desert wanting the world to know it’s here. It’s the first Arab and first Muslim nation to host a sporting event of this size. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates envy Qatar’s success, which gives Qatar leverage.

Qatar spent millions to host the 2009 World Cup in Qatar. World Cup. They also paid Zinedine zidane, one the most famous players in history, to help them with their bid. Still, Qatar’s bid seemed like a joke. It was so absurd as a concept. There were many questions about the heat and how they could accommodate the games in a smaller country than Connecticut. They also wanted to know if they would allow alcohol.

When FIFA’s president at the time opened the envelope and Qatar’s name came out, immediately everyone zeroed in on corruption. The The FIFA had to alter the way it named a host. It also revealed how a country could manipulate the world with force of cash.

You arrived in Qatar last Wednesday. What are your impressions?

Everything feels shiny and new. It’s like a country with that new car smell. The clearest thing is that it is baking hot — and this is close to winter. There is very strong sunlight bouncing off concrete that’s been laid down for all the new buildings. They’ve also banned the sale of beer to fans in stadiums.

How did Qatar pull off this preparation? We’d love to hear your thoughts about the controversy surrounding the tournament.

In order to host the one, they had to rebuild an entire nation in 12 years.-Month event. To complete this construction, they gathered hundreds of thousands of workers from overseas, especially South Asian workers. Human rights groups claim that thousands of these workers died in Qatar since 2010 when Qatar was granted hosting rights. Many others were hurt while building or refurbishing these eight aircraft.-Qatar will not use the conditioned stadiums after the event. World Cup. It’s been a collision of some of the world’s poorest people with the ambition of some of the world’s richest people.

The country’s human rights record has been under scrutiny beyond the worker deaths. One key aspect of that is Qatar’s criminalization of homosexuality. The World Cup It is supposed that everyone can attend this festival. How does that compare to a country that will jail you for being homosexual?

FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, pushed back against the outrage yesterday, calling it “hypocrisy” From European countries. He requested that his fans criticize Qatar instead.

Some European soccer fans call for people not to watch the games. What would you say to someone who is considering making that decision?

It’s a conversation people are having all over the world, and it speaks to the troubling nature of this tournament. It’s for each individual to figure that out for themselves. But from the players’ perspectives, this isn’t their fault. It’s the position FIFA has placed them in.

However, the tournament could still be held on a moon and draw the same amount of eyes.. Soon, the majority of the world will only be discussing matchups.

What are you looking for in matches?

All things are politicized. Iran is under a lot of scrutiny because of their national protests; a player from France, Eduardo Camavinga, has received racist messages on social media; some of Argentina’s fans have created a nasty, racist song about another French player, Kylian Mbappé.

Brazil is the best soccer team. They’ve got a very deep squad. Then there’s Argentina. This might be the last. World Cup for one of the sport’s greats, Lionel Messi. Non!-The tournament has not been won by an European team since 2002. Maybe this is the right time to bring an end to 20.-Year wait.

The At 11 a.m. Eastern, the first game of this tournament is Qatar vs. Ecuador The The United States will face Wales tomorrow at 2 p.m. Register now Our World Cup Up-to-date.

  • Over 70 inches of snow fell in Buffalo, setting a potential record for 24 hours.-Hours. Two people were murdered.

  • Kyrie Irving has since apologized for linking to an antisemitic movie. He could return to the game as soon as today.

  • A Fireball flew over Canada and the U.S.

The Sunday question

Recent polls have shown that Gov. Ron DeSantis from Florida leading Trump G.O.P. in a possible matchup elites may abandon him, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver writes. However, having many primary challengers could be a good thing. split the anti-Trump vote Alyssa Farah Griffin says that this will ultimately win the race.

The cover: How the vast rail system helped Ukraine withstand an invasion.

Recommendation: The desert can change your life.

Ethicist: Can a mother upload photos of her breastfeeding?

Talk: Brian Eno discusses the purpose of art.

The complete issue is available here.

  • Alaska will be ranked-Voting by choice on Wednesday will likely resolve its Senate and House elections.

  • Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. At the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New YorkNew balloons now include characters from The “Minions” The cartoon and movie series “Bluey.”

  • Friday is Native American Heritage Day. Black Friday marks the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

This Week’s Recipes

Emily Weinstein’s guidance for the days leading to Thanksgiving: Keep dinner simple, avoid sweet or mushy dishes and skip roast chicken (too close to turkey). Instead, choose one.-pan orzo with spinach and feta, fettuccine Alfredo swirled with chile crisp or a cheesy baked pasta that’s excellent for a crowd.

We have four more days before we go Thanksgiving preparation doesn’t get any easier than buying wine. Eric Asimov shares his advice.