Photo: Fox Soccer

Sports have a knack for drawing things out so it takes forever. Baseball games, despite MLB’s attempts to speed things up, last over three hours. The final couple minutes of a basketball game can feel like an eternity if the score is remotely close. FIFA, however, takes the cake with their elaborate World Cup tournament draw.

For a procedure that consists of drawing balls out of a bowl, FIFA took nearly an hour and a half to draw the 32 spots. That was because people first had to sit through a weird children’s cartoon with a talking mascot, musical performances, speeches from the FIFA president and the emir of Qatar, interviews with every guest who came up on stage or participated in the actual draw, and a further explanation of the World Cup draw with the teams involved. It’s like being a kid on Christmas and being told you couldn’t open the presents yet.

All in all, it took about 45 minutes until we actually saw some balls on TV. Even Idris Elba’s hosting couldn’t save the show as his Wire castmate Isiah Whitlock Jr. dusted off a classic phrase when talking about how long the draw was taking.

And if you thought this was taking too long for the fans, even those in the soccer media were getting impatient.

If there is a silver lining, it’s that the broadcast wasn’t bloated with commercials. The entire draw was commercial free, which probably didn’t make broadcasters too happy.

It’s a good thing this only happens every four years. Though with a 48-team draw coming in 2026, you might want to take a nap sometime during the show.

[Photo: Fox Soccer]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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