THE 2022 World Cup in Qatar is nearly here, with 32 hopeful nations from around the world coming together to compete for the title of World Cup champions.
However, in both the UK and the US, all eyes are on Group B, with England, Wales and the USA all competing in the same group – along with Iran, of course.
With only two places in the last 16 up for grabs, Group B is bound to create plenty of drama, but which of the four nations involved travelled the furthest distance during qualifying to earn a spot at Qatar 2022?
See how the Group B nations ranked below:
England come bottom of Group B when it comes to air miles, having travelled a total distance of 8,832.09 round miles during the team’s qualifying campaign. The Three Lions made five away trips, all clocking in between 1,000 and 2,000 round miles, with the longest journey being to Albania at 1,903.23 round miles.
Wales place just above England in third, with the Welsh team travelling slightly further during qualifying, racking up 10,161.14 round miles in total. Wales did however have to contend with two play-off games against Austria, then Ukraine in order to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, bringing the nation’s total number of qualifying games to six.
Next up is Iran, whose national team put in 15,556,97 round miles during qualifying. With two stages of World Cup qualification in the AFC (Asian Football Confederation), Iran technically played nine away games, despite having only made six away trips. This is because one round of AFC qualifying takes place in a host nation, which in Iran’s case was Iran, meaning some of the nation’s ‘away’ games were played at home. Ironically for Iran, at its closest point Iran is just 154.5 miles from Doha, Qatar – a very short trip indeed.
The national team that travelled the furthest to reach the 2022 World Cup is the USA, after the US men’s national team put in an astonishing 22,216.43* round miles over seven away games. Qualifying through CONCACAF, the USA made trips as far as Panama and Jamaica during their efforts to make it to Qatar.
*USA distance measured from the TQL Stadium in Cincinatti, Ohio where the USMNT most frequently played home games.
For more information please visit the World Cup Travel Index.