There is no precise relationship between the colors represented in a sporting event and the amount of money wagered. We don’t have exact figures on how much is laid down on City vs United, or Texas vs Oklahoma, yet surely those games attract more action than Mongolia vs Belgium.
The Asian Cup, an underdog in the grand scheme of worldwide soccer tournaments, may be about to produce a gold medal match that rivals the biggest U.K. and state-side battles in high-roller gambling action. What’s the big payoff? For now, it’s looking more and more like Japan vs Qatar.
Japan’s “Samurai Blue” already qualified on Monday, beating fellow semifinalists Iran 3-0 at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in the United Arab Emirates. German club standout Yuya Osako starred at forward in manager Hajime Moriyasu’s 4-4-2 formation, tallying twice by the 67th minute to give the Samurai a commanding 2-0 lead.
Qatar, which faces UAE’s homestanding squad in Abu Dhabi in a semifinal on Tuesday, has not allowed a goal in the 2019 Asian Cup. 22-year-old Almoez Ali has lit up the tournament, scoring 7 times and assisting on 5 other tallies. Keeper Saad Al Sheeb’s clean sheet against well-respected South Korea in the quarterfinals came with only a modicum of hard work as the Koreans attempted just 2 on-target shots.
While the squad’s nickname “the Maroons” may not translate well to western viewers, the Qataris clearly play the most stubborn defense in all of Asia.
If Qatar meets Japan in the Asian Cup final, then 2 of the world’s most abundant wealth-producing countries will be represented in a winner-take-all football match. While UAB is no slouch when it comes to Big Oil money and well-funded football, a Samurai vs Maroons final would also have the added intrigue of pairing a heroic FIFA World Cup side like Japan against an upcoming WC host. Qatar is scheduled to host the World Cup in 2022.
High-rollers who wager on the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners are said to sometimes involve properties, cars, and even oil wells in their bets. Will the billionaire auto manufacturers of Japan and the oil barons of Qatar go wild gambling on the championship of their continent?
Image from YouTube.