The best footballers from around the globe are competing in the World Cup in Qatar.
England, Wales and other nations are taking part in the group stage of the tournament. The games are coming thick and fast, with four matches scheduled each day for the early parts of the competition.
If you have been diving in and watching as much of the World Cup as possible, you might have noticed that some footballers have holes in their socks. The reason is more surprising than you might expect.
Qatar is the host nation for the tournament, which is taking place in November and December instead of its usual spot in the June and July. It is scheduled to run until 18 December.
If you are wonderin g why some players at the World Cup have holes in their socks, here’s all you need to know:
Why do footballers have holes in their socks?
If you have been watching the World Cup you might have noticed that some players have holes in their socks. The holes can make the socks look a bit like Swiss cheese.
The reason players have their socks like that is to reduce pressure on their calf muscles. Jude Bellingham, a goal scorer in England’s win over Iran, is one of the players to take this measure with his socks.
The long songs worn by footballers can be very tight fitting. For some players this can prove to be uncomfortable and so they can feel more comfortable and perform to the best of their abilities.
Other players may choose to play with the socks lower down on their calfs instead of resorting to cutting holes in them.
How long is the World Cup on for?
The Qatar 2022 tournament began on Sunday 20 November with the host nation playing Ecuador. The first round of games have been completed and the competition is in the second round of the group stage.
This year’s World Cup will end on Sunday 18 December, with the final scheduled to take place at 3pm GMT. The third and fourth play-off will take place the day prior.
Why is there so much extra-time at the World Cup?
Football’s governing body, FIFA are aiming to extend the number of minutes that the ball is in play to reduce time wasting tactics and make the game a more entertaining spectacle for the fans.
At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil it is estimated that the ball was typically only in play on average for 60 of the 90 minutes. Four years later in Russia that number is believed to be around 52 to 58 minutes.
Chairman of FIFA’s referee committee Pierluigi Collina revealed that fourth officials have been instructed to keep track of time lost during the game and claim it is something that they have encouraged since Russia 2018.
Collina said: “In Russia, we tried to be more accurate in compensating for time lost during games and that’s why you saw six, seven, or even eight minutes added on. Think about it: if you have three goals in a half, you’ll probably lose four or five minutes in total to celebrations and the restart.”
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said: “Enjoying the amount of time that is being added on by the officials at the Qatar World Cup 2022 there is too much time wasting in football!”
South American football correspondent Tim Vickery had a different view. He said: “Not in favour of these giant stoppage times. Grinding the players into the ground.” Vickery criticised the extra games that players are taking on and compared the situation to adding on extra rounds at the end of a boxing match.