FIFA World Cup holds a presence at Rock Hill


Zoey Wilcox

On Nov. 30, students during B-lunch watch the Poland vs. Argentina Group Stage game of the FIFA World Cup. “I really like watching in an environment where everyone is cheering together,” senior Alexandra Thomas said.

On Sunday, Nov. 20, the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Qatar. Qatar played against Ecuador to begin the world’s biggest tournament, with Ecuador beating Qatar 2-0. Students watched the games on phones and laptops in their classrooms, and administrators also broadcasted the games in the cafeteria during lunches.

Students in the cafeteria cheered when the U.S. played Iran on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and began to roar when the U.S. punched their ticket to the elimination round in the next tournament stage.

While most students cheered for the U.S., students of different ethnicities cheered for their native countries. For example, senior Nathan Lim supported South Korea when they played against Portugal on Dec. 2, winning 2-1.

“I see more and more people watching the World Cup together,” Lim said, “ Although it is the most popular event in the world, it’s such a cool thing to see. We see more and more people bond while supporting their countries.”

It’s estimated that 3.5 billion people worldwide engage in soccer, making it the biggest sport in the world. In addition, It holds an essential place in various cultures, primarily in South America.

The sport began by two school teachers in Germany in 1874, and the first soccer association was formed in England in 1888, called the English Football League. The creation of this league was the start of something big. The sport is officially recognized worldwide.

Sophomore Tolu Oyesanya, like other Rock Hill students, supports the country she feels most connected.

“I hope an African team gets to the finals, so I’m supporting Morocco,” Oyesanya said. “They’re the first African team to reach the semi-finals. The teams left in the game are all very good teams, so I’m not sure who will win, but I hope Morocco does well.”

France beating Morocco today puts Argentina and France in the World Cup final on Dec. 18.

“I really hope Argentina wins because Messi is one of my favorite players, and he is the GOAT,” junior Cooper Ring said. “This is my first time watching the Wolrd cup, and it was pretty exciting.”