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How Did Qatar Host the FIFA 2022 World Cup?
The FIFA World Cup is a professional football tournament held between the national football teams once in every four years, organized by FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association). The first ever FIFA event was held in Uruguay in the year 1930, and has ever been contested between 32 participating teams, and now the 22nd FIFA World Cup 2022 is taking place in Qatar, making it the first ever Arabian country to host the FIFA World Cup, and the second country out of Asia to host the FIFA World Cup after Korea/Japan in the year 2002.
Qatar is a tiny country with less than 12,000 square kilometers of space, one of the smallest sovereign states in the world. But it is rich – very rich. “If wealth is power, then the Qataris have some serious muscle to flex” wrote Forbes contributor Beth Greenfield. And these muscles they flexed in acquiring the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Back in 2010, when Qatar was named as the host for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it was selected ahead of bids from the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia.
During the bidding process it had to face several obstacles as FIFA flagged some technical concerns such as: lack of existing infrastructure and the region’s heat during the summer, the time in which usually the World Cup takes place. Nevertheless the country triumphed with 14 votes to USA’s 8 in the final round of balloting. All of its adversaries perished at the demonstration of its might.
The Pros and Cons of Hosting the World Cup. The Pros:
- Improved Infrastructure
- Team automatically qualifies for the World Cup
- Getting a chance for the national team to shine on stage
- Getting revenues in forms of tickets sold, merchandise etc.
- Increased awareness about the game to the general public.
- Tourism, as fans flock up to watch the World Cup.
- Chance of home fans meeting super stars
- Threat of terrorist attacks
- Not progressing beyond the group stages, hence facing anger from home fans
- Spend huge amount of money in building world class facilities for the participating teams, their security etc.
The Pros and Cons of Hosting the World Cup in Qatar. The Pros:
- Around 1.5 million new jobs in key sectors like; construction, hospitality and real estate increased.
- Over 1 million visitors showed up for the World Cup, this guaranteed to boost the increase not only in the short term process but in the long term process of tourism, foreign investment, etc.
- Benefitted positively in the social and cultural aspects of hosting the World Cup, it was the first Middle Eastern country to host the FIFA Tournament, this was an opportunity to showcase the vibrant cultures and values of the country creating a long lasting legacy that will be associated with Qatar for many years to come.
- Many concerns about the political stability in winning the bid for hosting the World Cup has risen.
- Tremendous human rights concerns has been surfaced, reporting the treatment of 1.6 billion overseas workers and reports of deaths of over 400 in the construction of the stadiums.
- A total ban on alcoholic beverages were imposed, which put into risk of the number of spectators and sponsors for the event as most of the FIFA event sponsors are alcohol producers.
Corruption scandals have flooded the news allegedly reporting that Qatar bribed the FIFA officials and other political officials in hosting the event. Usually the FIFA Tournament is held between the months of June and July, but due to the humidity levels and intense heat levels of Qatar the entire tournament was scheduled to take place from the 20th of November to the 18th of December.
The tournament was held in eight round – robin groups, and then a knockout round was held for 16 teams, the winners of quarter finals advanced to the semi finals on December 13th and 14th. The two teams that survive the semis will play the finals. While the semi-final losers will contend for the consolation of third place in a match taking place the day before the final. The entire tournament was held in 8 different stadiums across 5 different cities.
It was rumored to be the most expensive World Cup Event ever held, the prize money for all participating nations were announced on April 2022. Each qualified team received $ 1.5 million before the competition to cover up preparation costs, and each team would receive at least $ 9 million in prize money. The entire cost of the prize pool for the above tournament estimated to $ 440 million, $ 40 million greater than the prize pool of the previous tournament. From the many events that took place in FIFA this year, these were two of the most unpredictable and spotlight happenings:
Defeat of Portugal to Morocco and the Epic Final
It was a moment of mixed emotions for the supporters of Portugal when the Portugal player Cristiano Ronaldo walked off the stadium with teary eyes after Portugal lost 1-0 to Morocco in the quarter finals disqualifying to take part in the grand finale, on the other hand the Moroccan supporters were over joyed at the victory of Morocco being selected to the final stages of FIFA World Cup for the first time in history.
In summary the Americans came up short against the Dutch, who then rekindled their decades-long blood feud with Argentina in the next round. They could not match the South American champions, though, not when Messi went into his old bag of tricks to create that opening goal. He produced another almost incomprehensible assist in the following round, as Argentina continually made it difficult for themselves but never faltered. They played with fire in their bones, history in their sights, and delivered glory to themselves and their nation and their talismanic leader. Perhaps, someday, the specifics will fall away when it comes to the stage on which the little man did one last great thing. It was only one of many grand stages he has graced, in truth. He has vanquished the mighty French, the defending champions, and settled every debate. This is the age of Lionel Messi and no one else, the time of the greatest footballer who ever lived.
Rtr. Zuhara Ibrahim
Rotaract Club of Colombo MidTown