Qatar 2022: Do the World Cup winners keep the trophy or do they have to return it?

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mbappe
© Matthias Hangst/Getty ImagesKylian Mbappe of France

On Sunday, France and Argentina will compete against one other for the opportunity to bring home their nation’s third World Cup championship. But will one of these teams walk away with the championship trophy or will they have to hand it back? Let’s find out!

The time we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived. The World Cup trophy will be up for grabs when Argentina and France meet in a thrilling Qatar 2022 final at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday 18 December.

After a 3-0 win against Croatia, Argentina became the first team to advance to the semi-finals. La Albiceleste, who were led by Lionel Messi and enjoyed a spectacular run in the knockout rounds, will no doubt be keen to win the World Cup for their captain in what will be his final appearance at the tournament.

At the other end of the spectrum is the French national team. They triumphed at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and will now compete in their second consecutive finals as they attempt to win back-to-back championships and become only the third team in history to do so.

Are the World Cup champions allowed to retain the trophy?

After France’s victory in the tournament in 2018, they are quite acquainted with the procedure of receiving the trophy. However, Argentina has seen a significant amount of transition since they last won the World Cup in 1986. The opportunity to hoist an illustrious prize and the weighty burden of immense status comes along with reaching the final of the World Cup.

It is a widely held belief that hoisting the World Cup trophy is the apex of a player’s career, and that this achievement has more allure for certain players than either winning the UEFA Champions League or taking home domestic honors. However, not only do the players not get to retain the trophy, but neither does the nation that ends up victorious.

Although this has not always been the case, current concerns over the prize’s security have resulted in it being replaced with a cheaper bronze (gold-plated) duplicate/replica that is awarded to the winner of the competition. Following each World Cup victory, the victors have their names engraved into a plate that is attached to the base of the trophy. As a prize for winning the Jules Rimet Trophy for the third time in 1970, Brazil were given permission to retain the trophy in their possession.

But since then, FIFA have announced that no one would be permitted to retain the new trophy, regardless of how many times they win it, and this policy has been maintained. The existing trophy will continue to be utilized until 2028, at which point they will no longer have room for further names on the base.

Why does each country have to give the World Cup trophy back?

The fact that FIFA has decided to withhold possession of the World Cup trophy from the champions of the tournament is a security measure. If past events are any indicator, this fear is well-founded. After 92 years and the theft of two trophies, the most precious trophy in the world is still highly sought after by criminals.

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