Several sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar, Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Tokyo Olympics in Japan, and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon, among others, took place in 2022.
The sports industry had to struggle with postponements after COVID-19 (coronavirus) ravaged the world back in 2020.
There was an appearance of normal in 2021, but sports events kicked off fully across the globe in 2022 as we witnessed full crowds in stadiums, hectic schedules and more drama in different sporting events, from football to tennis, boxing, basketball, among others.
Saga Gist presents to you five issues that rocked the world of sports in the year 2022:
1. Argentina’s FIFA World Cup triumph in Qatar:
Prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar, findings revealed a majority of football fans backed Brazil to lift this year’s World Cup.
However, Lionel Messi led Argentina to win their first World Cup in Qatar since 1986.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward netted a brace in the World Cup final against France on December 18 as the match ended in a 3-3 draw after 120 minutes.
Argentina eventually defeated France 4-2 on a penalty shoot-out as Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick was not enough to save Les Bleus.
2. Anthony Joshua’s back-to-back defeat against Oleksandr Usyk:
Joshua suffered another defeat against Oleksandr Usyk in their heavyweight rematch in Saudi Arabia in August.
Usyk saw off a spirited performance from Joshua to seal a split decision win in their rematch in Saudi Arabia.
The undefeated Ukrainian successfully defended the IBF, WBO and WBA belts he took from Joshua in September 2021 in London, adding the Ring Magazine title, vacated by Tyson Fury, to his collection in Jeddah.
Both heavyweight rivals met in Saudi Arabia, 11 months after Usyk dominated Joshua over 12 rounds at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Joshua was awarded a 115-113 decision by the first judge, but Usyk was awarded the bout 115-113 and 116-112 by the other two judges.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan, exit from Manchester United:
November 22, Manchester United confirmed in a terse statement via its social media handles they have terminated Ronaldo’s contract “with immediate effect”.
This follows Ronaldo’s bombshell interview with British broadcaster, Piers Morgan.
Man United tore up the Portugal captain’s contract seven months early.
The Red Devils believed the 37-year-old had violated his terms of employment with his criticism of the club’s US owners, manager Erik ten Hag, the club’s facilities, his teammates and the club’s former players, including Wayne Rooney and Gary Neville.
4. Roger Federer and Serena Williams’ retirements from Tennis:
In September, Federer announced his retirement from competitive tennis in a heartfelt social media post.
The Laver Cup in London was Federer’s last ATP tournament.
The 41-year-old brings the curtain down on his spectacular career in a “super special” match alongside long-time rival Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup in London.
The tennis legend was in floods of tears despite tasting defeats to Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe in the final match of his professional career alongside Nadal.
Similarly, In August, American tennis legend, Serena Williams, announced her retirement from the game in an emotional statement.
Serena confirmed she would be retiring after the US Open, which ended in September this year.
The 40-year-old said: “I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis toward other things that are important to me.”
5. Thomas Tuchel’s sacking:
In September, Chelsea, under the leadership of new co-owner, Todd Boehly, sacked Tuchel.
Chelsea took the shock decision after their UEFA Champions League group stage 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb.
The Blues quickly appointed Graham Potter to succeed Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel’s sack was surprising to fans and pundits across the football world because the German had led the west London club to win the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup in the past.