Qatar World Cup voted 'best of the century' in BBC Sport poll

Qatar World Cup voted 'best of the century' in BBC Sport poll
The 2022 Qatar World Cup finished ahead of all 21st-century editions of the tournament in the BBC Sport poll after its nail-biting final between Argentina and France.
2 min read
26 December, 2022
Qatar this year became the first country in the Middle East to host the FIFA World Cup [Marvin Ibo Guengoer via Getty Images]

Voters in a BBC Sport poll have selected the 2022 Qatar World Cup as the best World Cup of this century.

The 22nd edition of the world’s biggest football tournament - the first to be held in the Middle East - received 78% of the votes, an overwhelming majority.

The 2002 World Cup held in Japan and South Korea came second in the poll, but trailed far behind Qatar in the vote share with just 6%. The 2014 Brazil tournament received 4% of votes.

Commenters on the BBC website said the thrilling final between Argentina and France was a contributing factor to the greatness of the tournament.


The two titans battled it out for the coveted trophy at Lusail Stadium on 18 December, with the South American side emerging victorious in a penalty shootout after a dramatic 3-3 draw.

The game saw Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe score a hat-trick, the first player to do so since England's Sir Geoff Hirst in 1966.

Argentina’s win was long overdue for football legend Lionel Messi, who had yet to lift the coveted trophy despite an illustrious career in the sport.

Qatar's hosting of the World Cup drew praise from FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who called it "the best World Cup ever" and said it had shown a "unique, cohesive power".

Fans also said that the diversity of the participating teams, including the Asian and African squads that scored upsets against world champions, was a highlight of the tournament.

One fan commented that visitors, irrespective of where they came from, were treated with respect, and praised the organisation, transport, accommodation, as well as food and safety.

The results of the poll come despite the BBC choosing not to broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies of the tournament, as well as criticism of the Gulf country's hosting of the World Cup that some viewers found excessive.

Qatar received a barrage of criticism for its treatment of migrant workers and LGBTQ+ people by European media and officials, which was slammed by the Qatari foreign ministry as hypocritical.

Despite the criticism, the World Cup was one of the most watched of all time, drawing in more than 3.4 million spectators to stadiums. Some 89,000 fans were at the Lusail Stadium for the final between Argentina and France.