He shoots and he scores! World Cup wins big at WCHS.


Photo by Abbas Yazdi

On December 5th. 2022, several WCHS students are seen enjoying an intense World Cup knockout game between Japan vs Croatia, while working in the library.

By Amir-Abbas Yazdi and Graeme Finley

These past few weeks, one thing has remained on the mind of WCHS students, teachers and staff: the 2022 Qatar World Cup. WCHS has an extremely diverse student body, and every team partaking in this global soccer – or “football” – championship, has supporters represented at WCHS. 

The World Cup is an international soccer tournament held every four years. It is organized by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and is the most prestigious tournament in the sport. The tournament features 32 national teams from various countries, who compete in a knockout-style competition over the course of about a month. The winner of the tournament is crowned the world champion of soccer. The tournament is one of the most widely viewed and followed sporting events in the world, with billions of people tuning in to watch the games every day.

This global soccer showdown is normally held during the European off-season in the summer, but because of the searing summer heat in the chosen host country of Qatar, FIFA was prompted to move the 2022 World Cup to November and December of 2022. This permitted schools nationwide to follow the soccer tournament during school hours for the first time ever.

“It is a very unique experience for the entire school to be following the biggest sports tournament in the world,” WCHS senior Yahia Abdelwhab said. “In our lifetime, we have never been able to watch the World Cup with our friends and root on our favorite teams while school was ongoing, so we were all very grateful for this rare opportunity.”

Due to the uniqueness of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, along with its arguable historical importance, the event has convinced some teachers of WCHS to dedicate class time to watching the World Cup. Many students have been enjoying this luxury and appreciate the teachers allowing them to watch their favorite national teams play.

“It’s really cool to see that there are teachers who don’t mind playing [ongoing] World Cup matches during their classes,” WCHS junior Aayan Shezahd said. “It honestly makes up for the lack of memories we have of the World Cup – especially with the US men’s team – who [we last got to see play] eight years ago [in the 2014 World Cup].”

Whether it is in class, during lunch or at home, students and teachers alike have been able to keep up with the World Cup games by streaming games on the official FOX Sports website. Throughout the school day, students can be seen watching it on their Chromebooks and checking in with the World Cup standings on Google. Additionally, on the whiteboards of classrooms, brackets can be found being constantly filled in with the latest winners. Along with that, students have been holding World Cup watch parties after school to see the games with their friends. 

“Every weekend during the World Cup this year, my friends and I have been meeting up at our local mosque to display the match for that day, because we realized that it is so much more fun to watch the games together,” WCHS sophomore Maysam Ghandi said. 

Outside of WCHS, local businesses have also been embracing the World Cup spirit. Many restaurants have been showing World Cup games in their establishments and the event has taken over television advertisements and local radio stations.                                                                                                                                                                                                

“We have been [showing] the World Cup games [at our restaurant] since it began in late November,” Youlla Vellios, the co-owner of Tally Ho Restaurant in Potomac Village said. “It definitely brings more traction to [the restaurant] and keeps customers inside and interested for longer.”

Many students have added that their days have been brighter, especially with the official World Cup songs being played occasionally in the hallways between classes.

“As the days go on – hearing all the World Cup music and being reminded of the ongoing competitive match-ups – I am more and more excited to watch these [World Cup] games during lunchtime with my friends.” WCHS sophomore Isaac Kaspi said. “It is one hundred percent the highlight of my day.”

Despite the fact that the 2022 Qatar World Cup is coming to an end, all of the wild, in-game highlights, comebacks and upsets have proven to be very memorable for the WCHS community. Moreover, WCHS staff and students have been ecstatic after hearing the announcements regarding the next host cities as it has been confirmed that the FIFA 2026 World Cup will be held in the U.S. Canada, and Mexico, with most games being held in U.S. cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, etc. Although a four year wait must be endured, this announcement regarding the next World Cup has not failed to incite hope and speculation about the future.

“[Although this year’s World Cup is over], it is crazy to think that the 2026 World Cup will be held in North America,” sophomore Ethan Han said. “I cannot wait to see the US men’s team play again and maybe even pull through with a championship win on home turf.”