Qatar Got Your Tongue?
Depressing isn’t it. Just thinking about it. Russia and Qatar get to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively and in reality, its just down to one little object, money.
Oh, hold on, maybe this is me getting too far ahead of myself. Russia do have a good vision, lets face it, there might have been a little swapping of money (key word is might), but apart from that everything else is in good shape. The plan for the stadiums looks promising, all set to build brand new stadiums that will no doubt be spectacular and good for football. I think Russia is a good choice and despite it hurting that England didn’t win the World Cup bid, I’m not too fussed really. It does annoy me that it was helped over the line by the exchanging a bit of cash (possibly), but that complaint comes at another time.
But Qatar. Seriously?
To me, there were two good bids for the World Cup in 2022 and those were Australia and the USA. They had the stadiums, the infrastructure and even if its not their first country, it will no doubt manage to fill each and everyone of their seats. Something to be proud of, seeing football trying to improve itself in those territories. It sounds great to me, doesn’t it?
But it went to that tiny nation of Qatar, the 164th largest area of land on earth. Just to put it into perspective, its smaller than the Falkland Islands. How on earth it is expected to host one of the largest sporting events in the world is beyond me. It can’t surely. Its too small, the country has never made it to the World Cup before and so very wrong.
Lets look at the logistics. Its small. The smallest World Cup hosts of all time, how they expect to allow so many fans into the country is impressive. Qatar has a population of 900,000. About 1/3 of that will be making its way into the country to support their respective teams, how they expect to support so many fans in such a tiny space will be difficult.
As well as this, there are set to be 12 stadiums in the World Cup, 6 of them, that is half, are all based in one city, Doha. It is amazing how they expect to put half of the entire World Cup in just one city. It won’t work, it simply can’t.
And then my friends, is the weather. At least for once, we are guaranteed one constant in 2022. Unbearably hot weather. An average of 41 degrees Celsius, conditions no football should be forced to play in. In fairness to Qatar, they agree with me on this. But they want to play football in air conditioned stadium. I’m sorry, football should not be played in artificial conditions. Expose it to the weather, and that is another nail in the direction of Qatar. There are rumours, of moving it to a colder part of the year. In that case, give it to another country. Why ruin a domestic season of the majority of leagues around the world just to accommodate the World Cup? Oh look, here we are, its club vs. country all over again.
Qatar as a footballing nation too, are unbelievably awful. They have never qualified for a World Cup, ranked 113th in the world (which is worse than Wales, who are 111th) and haven’t won in their last 13 Asian Cup matches. Granted, its 2010, twelve whole years until 2022, no doubt they could improve their ranking, not by much though, maybe they could get in a few foreigners, Qatar have the money don’t they. It might just be enough to not end up worse than North Korea did this year.
Yes, South Africa were in a similar status, albeit just a bit better, but not expected to put up a fight against anyone. But what South Africa had was fans, fans with passion. And put the vuvuzela to one side, that was a remarkable World Cup for them. There was a lot of talk about those South Africans getting something they’ve never had in their lives, a once in a lifetime achievement. Everyone was on their side, and they got some memorable results, who could forget Tshabalala’s strike against Mexico, or the remarkable win over France. They might have failed to get past the group stages, but they put up one hell of a fight and took their Bafana Bafana on a sensational journey.
I can’t see the Qatari people having the same enthusiasm. I can’t see the stadiums being packed. I don’t see it working at all for the fans.
Finally, I’ll hit at massive ethical reasons. This is a country which does not recognise Israel (though will allow them to compete should they qualify), or any other major religions which just don’t happen to be the same as the one they believe in. They discourage drinking in public places, something which will have to be changed in time for the World Cup, to keep the sponsor Budweiser happy, no doubt. And the big one, sponsorship laws, or ‘modern-day slavery’. How can a nation that does such actions be allowed, have the right, to host the most prestigious footballing event in football.
Oh, that’s right, money. Lots and lots of money. How silly of me to forget. Its illogical in every sense of the word, it won’t work, it can’t work. Australia and USA have so much better bids, but no, they didn’t have the money.
Logic should return in 2026. USA and Canada maybe, or even just USA. But with the 100 years of the World Cup coming up, no doubt that will end up in the hands of either Uruguay or Argentina, or maybe both.
The next hope for England though. Sadly, looks to be 2034. 68 years of wait and all that.