Fans all over the globe are tuning into the World Cup, arguably the single most popular sporting event in the world. Still, this year’s tournament in Qatar has stirred backlash surrounding corruption and human rights abuses. And while America’s most beloved squads – Mexico’s El Tri and the U.S. Men – both washed out of the competition, millions of spectators remain captivated by the saga of Argentina’s Lionel Messi. Could a World Cup victory cap off his extraordinary career? We take stock of the cup so far and how fans are reacting to what’s happening on and off the field.
World Cup, Mired in Controversy, Continues Captivating Fans Worldwide
Football and skyline of the West Bay Doha, Qatar. (Allan Baxter via Getty Images)
Paul Tenorio, senior writer covering soccer, The Atlantic
Sarath Ganji, foreign policy and communications expert
Amelia Lopez, writer and digital content creator, FutMexNation; soccer analyst and co-host, The Mexican Soccer Show