The groups were not the only thing unveiled on April 1st at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Draw in Doha, Qatar. Fans also got to hear the tournament’s official anthem for the first time, and the mascot was revealed, as is usual at every FIFA World Cup.
The reveal took place before the World Cup draw, with an animated film presenting the story to millions of viewers across the world. The mascot’s name is La’eeb, and it is shown flying in the air in the film which explains its story. La’eeb is defined as “an Arabic term signifying super-skilled athlete.”
The mascot, who follows in the footsteps of Zabivaka (2018), Fuleco (2014), and Zakumi (2010), is planned to be released in the following weeks and months across a range of platforms via downloadable stickers, GIFs, screensavers, and filters.
La’eeb’s appearance at the draw had fans buzzing, with many asking the same questions: What precisely is it? What its significance? Much of it, it turns out, is open to interpretation. We’ll go through what FIFA and the designers had in mind when they created La’eeb.
The mascot, which seems to be a gutra, a fabric headdress used in Qatar, is not meant to have a fixed human character, according to the marketing team that designed it.
According to FIFA, La’eeb is a playful and mischievous figure who originates from the mascot verse, a parallel planet where all tournament mascots reside. Where mascots have reportedly been attempting to communicate with humans for generations. La’eeb might simply be a fabrication of your thoughts. He can be anything a football fan wants him to be.”
Many words are used to characterise a mascot that is a product of someone’s mind, including courageous, uplifting, fun, playful, mischievous, youthful, and an adventurous spirit.
The statement, which was filled with implausible details, such as La’eeb having “attended every previous FIFA World Cup event” and having “contributed to some of the most renowned moments in football history, including a handful of historic goals,” was filled with fantastical details.
The official mascot of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which was hosted in Russia, was Zabivaka. The name is a combination of the Russian words соака (“dog”) and аиват (“to strike”). The mascot was created by student designer Ekaterina Bocharova and was chosen through internet voting in Russia. The tournament results were revealed on Channel One Russia’s Evening Urgant on October 22, 2016. The Wolf, named Zabivaka, received 53% of the votes, followed by the Tiger (27%), and the Cat (20%). More than one million people voted during September 2016 at FIFA.com, as well as before and during the live presentation of the Evening Urgant, when the tournament results were announced.
The official mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil was Fuleco. Fuleco is a Brazilian three-banded armadillo, a species of armadillo native to Brazil that is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. On November 25, 2012, Fuleco was formally introduced as part of TV Globo’s weekly Fantástico entertainment show. His name is a combination of football and ecology. The mascot, with his message of environmental issues, ecology, and sport, became a huge hit with football clubs all over the world.
The official mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup was Zakumi the Leopard. He is a happy, sporty humanoid leopard with green hair who was introduced on September 22, 2008. His name is a combination of “ZA,” the code for South Africa, and kumi, which means “ten” in African languages and refers to the year 2010. He once dyed his hair green because he thought it would be great camouflage against the green of the football pitch, like his rosette markings when hunting in the forest! He does have one notable flaw. He needs regular rests with all of his vitality. Occasionally, in between theatrical performances, he will fall asleep on the spot at the most inconvenient times!
In the other editions of World Cups the mascots were:
In our World Cup Guide we cover some of the most important information about the groups, teams and stadiums and a full schedule and tournament tree. But want to access all important World Cup data for yourself? Sportmonks has got you covered. With our World Cup API we offer the most reliable data which includes: livescores, statistics, schedules, predictions, news and many more.