A Complete Beginner's Glossary for the FIFA World Cup

A Complete Beginner's Glossary for the FIFA World Cup

A Complete Beginner's Glossary for the FIFA World Cup

 Once again, the FIFA World Cup season is almost upon us! It seems like just yesterday that football fans from all over the world were tuning in to the final match between Croatia and France - and it was an amazing victory for the French, indeed. Now, four years later, fans will be flocking to watch the matches unfold across Qatar.


Whether you’re new to the sport, a football fanatic, a football sports betting enthusiast, or solely a FIFA World Cup spectator, you may need a bit of a refresher on concepts and terms related to either the World Cup - one of the sports world’s biggest international events - or just about the sport of football itself. With that, Oppa888 is here to provide you with a glossary of terms to help you get back in touch with everything you need to know about the FIFA World Cup!


Let’s talk about basic football terms first:

1. Hat Trick – when one player scores three goals within just one game; it’s rare but it has happened at least once at every FIFA World Cup tournament so far!

2. Goalie – the goalkeeper, or the player who defends the goal and is the last line of defense to stop the opposing team from scoring.

3. Midfielder – literally the players in the middle of the field, they're usually tasked with taking and keeping possession of the ball. However, they’re pretty flexible and sometimes take a defensive or forward role as well.

4. Defender – usually situated closer to their team’s goal, these players are there to make sure their opponents don’t – or can’t – score.

5. Forward – also called strikers, these players are primarily responsible for scoring goals, or setting up the plays that will allow their teammates to score.

6. Foul – an act committed by any player that the referee judges to be against the game’s laws or disruptive to the gameplay, whether intentional or accidental. There are many in football including pushing or pulling, tripping or kicking an opponent, tackling, or a hand ball (see below).

7. Hand ball – a foul that happens when a player manipulates the ball with any part of their body from their fingers up to their shoulders. This means that if another player kicks the ball and it hits another player in the hand or arm by accident, this is not a hand ball.

8. Free Kick – usually awarded to the opposing team when the other team breaks a rule or commits a foul. One member of the team is given a chance to score a goal from a certain point on the field.

9. Penalty shoot-out – when a match cannot end in a tie, a penalty shoot-out is enacted as a way to break it. Each team is given five chances for five different kickers to score a goal, undefended except by the goalie; the team with the most successful goals wins the match.

10. Yellow card – the card held up by the referee to indicate that a player has broken the rules and serves as a warning. When things get heated, especially during the FIFA World Cup where tensions are high, you’ll see a lot of yellow cards.

11. Red card – a step up from the yellow card, a referee holds up the red card to indicate that a player is being ejected from the game, and their team will be a player short for the remainder of the match. At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, only 4 players were sent off!

12. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) – the referees can only see so much, so the VAR is often consulted to review decisions that were made concerning fouls and penalties, goals, and yellow or red cards.


Now let’s talk about the FIFA World Cup itself:

13. FIFA – the abbreviation for Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or the International Federation of Association Football. Basically, FIFA is the international organization that oversees football’s major tournaments: the FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

14. World Cup – the international tournament we’re all here to watch; it happens every 4 years and pits the best among the best national football teams against each other. Why only every 4 years? Well, it involves a great many countries from around the world; the 4 years is to give each region enough time to hold qualifying rounds in order to determine which teams go on to the World Cup itself. Not to mention the logistics involved for the host country to ensure they have adequate stadiums and hotels to accommodate everyone who will be flying in!

15. FIFA World Cup host – the country where the tournament will take place and subsequently, is in charge of securing stadiums, hotels, and other facilities needed for both the athletes, their management, and avid spectators. They’re selected by the FIFA Council through a voting process; in 2022 it’s Qatar, 2018 was Russia, 2014 was Brazil, and in 2026, it will be co-hosted by the North American countries.

16. Qualifiers – the FIFA World Cup qualifications stage is a years-long process that determines which national teams will be moving onto the final tournament. There are six continental zones, each of which have their own rules and process for narrowing down teams. The number of slots allocated per continental zone is determined by FIFA. For those in the sports betting industry, a team’s performance in qualifiers will already affect betting odds later on!

17. Group Stage – this is the first round of the final tournament, after the 32 teams have been selected from the qualifiers (48 teams beginning with the 2026 FIFA World Cup!). There are 8 groups of 4 teams each; each group is divided based on criteria determined by FIFA. Each group then plays one match against the other teams, totaling six matches per group, and the top 2 teams move on to the next round: the knockout stage. This is when football predictions become really fun, because there is a clearer basis for a team’s odds to win or lose.

18. Knockout Stage – now with just 16 teams left, these remaining teams play one match against each other, i.e. the winner of one group plays against the runner-up of another. As teams are eliminated, the tournament moves onto the quarter-finals, semi-finals, third place match, and then the FIFA World Cup championship.


Hopefully this guide has helped you better understand the basics of not just football, but also of the FIFA World Cup. It’s especially entertaining to check out the match odds and predictions on football betting, and Oppa888 is exactly the right place to get started!


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