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World Cup 2022

Could Qatar have the worst performance by a host nation of the World Cup

Qatar lost their opening match against Ecuador, could they end up being the worst host team of a World Cup ever?

Qatar lost their opening match against Ecuador, could they end up being the worst host team of a World Cup ever?
Richard SellersGetty

Qatar opened their long-awaited World Cup this afternoon, with a 2-0 defeat to Ecuador. After an impressive opening ceremony the host nation failed to produce anything similarly spectacular on the pitch and were easily beaten by the South Americans. Enner Valencia scored two goals in the first half and Qatar never looked like replying.

The hosts are currently ranked 50th in the world at the moment, with Ecuador at 44th, but the gulf in quality between the teams looked a lot more than six ranking places.

After today’s defeat Qatar will play Senegal then the Netherlands and the worry in Doha, after this performance, must be that after spending so much money to host the tournament, the national team lets the side down on the pitch.

Worst host nation so far in the history of World Cup

Qatar may come good in those games against Senegal and the Netherlands, but if they don’t they run the risk of becoming the worst ever performing World Cup host. The current holder of that unenviable title is South Africa - they are the only host to fail to qualify for the knock-out stage, although they were extremely unlucky.

The South Africa side who hosted the 2010 World Cup drew their opening match against Mexico 1-1, were soundly beaten by Uruguay 0-3 and beat France (who had utterly fallen to pieces) in their final game 2-1. South Africa finished third, level on four points with Mexico but went out on goal difference, with Uruguay winning the group.

Qatar must be hoping they can raise their level, because on today’s game they might become the first host nation to fail to pick up a group stage point.

Check out our World Cup special, with analysis of every team.


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