World Cup for Dummies

Many of us don’t really care about the World Cup, but some of us don’t care because we don’t know anything about it and how to follow it…or rather some of us girls just want to see Cristiano Ronaldo doing his thing. Well, here it is everyone, your very own guide to following the World Cup. FYI- it has already started! It’s been on since June 12th !

Q: Just how many teams are playing?

A: There are 32 countries playing in the World Cup this year with 12 respective cities across Brazil hosting them! Here they are listed in their respective groups:

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Brazil Netherlands Colombia Costa Rica
Mexico Chile Cote d’Ivoire Italy
Cameroon Australia Japan England
Croatia Spain Greece Uruguay
Group E Group F Group G Group H
France Argentina Germany Belgium
Switzerland Iran Portugal Algeria
Ecuador Nigeria Ghana Russia
Honduras Bosnia and Herzegovina USA Korea Republic


Q: How do they determine who plays against whom?

A: There are 32 countries playing in the World Cup this year, they started out in groups of 4. Each group has a letter A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or H. Within each group, the 4 teams will play against the other 3 to see who wins. Again, within the group, the top 2 winners will move on to the next stage, while the bottom 2 go home, eventually leading to Round 16, which starts on June 28th.


Q: How do they get it from 32 teams to 1?

A: Basically the same way they narrow it down to 2 teams from the 4 within each group. Once it has been narrowed down to 2 teams per group, the total number of teams playing is 16. From there each team will play against each other, in the group, and this will get narrowed down to 8, also known as the Quarter Finals. Which will then lead to the semi finals on July 8th. Then finally on July 13th, the finals will start.


Q: Who took home the Cup last year?

A: Trick question! The World Cup occurs every 4 years. Therefore the last World Cup was in 2010 and the winner was Spain!


Q: Are they using shaving cream on the soccer field?

A: If you’ve tuned into a World Cup match, you may have seen the referee spraying white foam onto the field. This shaving cream-like substance is actually something called vanishing foam and it’s used for the first time in the World Cup to draw the line behind which defenders need to stand ten yards away from the ball. It’s used to prevent the defending players from edging too close to the ball during free kicks.

Another new introduction to the game is goal-line technology . Like in Monopoly, players often accuse each other of cheating; well this new technology makes this situation controllable. What goal-line does is that it detects where the ball is in reference to the goal line, if it was out of the goal line or if it was in, by using a set of high speed cameras pointed at each goal. Sometimes, referees make mistakes and miscall goals. They are human after all! However, on the flip side, critics argue that goal-line technology removes the enjoyment of arguing potential bad-calls. What do you think? You can read more about it here at the Guardian!


Q: How can a match end in a draw (or as we like to call it, a tie) ?

A: Draws only occur during the group stage, where teams play against the other teams within their groups. Draws are allowed because advancing to the top 16 is based on a point system- a win counts for 3 points, a draw counts for 1 point, and a loss is 0 points. The two teams with the highest points advance. There are no draws in top 16, top 8, top 4, semifinal, or final matches. Matches that do end in draws during the second stage of the World Cup go into overtime and then an ever-exciting penalty shootout if they’re still tied.


Q: Why do matches go into the 94th or 95th minute?

A: Soccer matches are 90 minutes and are split into two 45-minute halves. However, unlike basketball or football, the clock never stops, even during goal celebrations, injuries, fouls, and penalties. Referees add stoppage time to make up for the lost time. The next time you see a player nursing a dubious injury on the field, know that the clock is still running.


Q: When can I see the final 2 teams playing?

A: The final round of the World Cup 2014 is scheduled to be for July 13th, in Rio de Janeiro. But until then, tune in to see who is playing whom! Find out the schedule here at FIFA’s website!


Q: Who is most likely to bring home the cup this year?

A: The team favored to win is Brazil. Winning for them will mean that they will be the first host country to take home the title since France in 1998. Their biggest competition comes from Argentina, Germany, and 2010 World Cup winner Spain. USA is currently ranked 14th in the world. But anything could happen, as Spain was predicted to beat the Netherlands or, at the very least, draw, but ended up losing 5-1 only less than a week ago.


Q: What is the schedule for the World Cup this year?


Date Time (EST) Match            Date Time (EST) Match 
Monday, June 16 Noon GER vs. POR Sunday, June 22 Noon BEL vs. RUS
3 pm IRN vs. NGA 3 pm ALG vs. KOR
6 pm GHA vs. USA 6 pm POR vs. USA
Tuesday, June 17 Noon BEL vs. ALG Monday, June 23 Noon NED vs. CHI
3 pm BRA vs. MEX Noon AUS vs. ESP
6 pm RUS vs. KOR 4 pm CRO vs. MEX
Wednesday, June 18 Noon NED vs. AUS 4 pm CMR vs. BRA
3 pm ESP vs. CHI Tuesday, June 24 Noon ITA vs. URU
6 pm CMR vs. CRO Noon CRC vs. ENG
Thursday, June 19 Noon COL vs. CIV 4 pm JPN vs. COL
3 pm URU vs. ENG 4 pm GRE vs. CIV
6 pm GRE vs. JPN Wednesday, June 25 Noon NGA vs. ARG
Friday, June 20 Noon CRC vs. ITA Noon BIH vs. IRN
3 pm SUI vs. FRA 4 pm ECU vs. FRA
6 pm ECU vs. HON 4 pm HON vs. SUI
Saturday, June 21 Noon ARG vs. IRN Thursday, June 26 Noon USA vs. GER
3 pm GER vs. GHA Noon POR vs. GHA
6 pm BIH vs. NGA 4 pm KOR vs. BEL
4 pm ALG vs. RUS

So there it is, your guide to the World Cup! You can watch it live on ESPN or catch recaps of the game online! But we are interested to hear what you have to say about this year’s World Cup so let us know which team you’re rooting for to take home the cup this year!

Happy “ennouncing”!

Meghan & Melissa from GoEnnounce

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