Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Why Qatar? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page

Qatar’s ambition to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup truly impresses me, regardless of whether or not it’s bid turns out to be successful or not. In my opinion, Qatar is the ideal country to host a World Cup, thanks to its economic capabilities, stable security, and solid infrastructure, not to mention its geographic position that would allow football fans to converge and interact with one another, as well as Qatar’s desire to open up and showcase itself to the world at large. Qatar has indeed put in place an ambitious bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The sporting facilities and stadiums that Qatar has promised to construct are said to be unprecedented on the international level, enjoying the highest architectural and design specifications. Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup would also enable the country to make significant political, media, and indeed sporting achievements. I do not believe that Qatar wants to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup for economic reasons, despite the substantial economic gains that can be made by the host country. Germany and South Africa generated billions of dollars from hosting the 2006 and 2010 World Cups respectively. If Qatar was able to win the 2022 World Cup bid, its name will be on every tongue, and a new generation of Qataris who faithfully believe in the value of sports will emerge. Moreover, hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup offers Qatar a golden opportunity to open its doors to the rest of the world, and get better acquainted with the world’s different cultures and civilizations.

If Qatar is lucky enough to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup bid, it would be the first Arab country to receive this honor, leapfrogging other Arab countries that enjoy a long history in international football. The history of football in Qatar – which only began in the middle of the 20th century – is modest in comparison to the history of football in countries like Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia. Qatar’s World Cup ambitions deserve the complete support of all Arab countries, for should Qatar host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this would serve as a source of pride to all Arabs.

Football, the great enchantress, is like a lucky omen, for wherever this strikes, the eyes of the world are sure to follow. Were it not for football, all that the general public would know about Brazil is that they export coffee and sugar. However today the names of footballers ring louder than even the names of politicians, heads of state, and economists, and everybody around the world knows Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Spain’s Xavi Hernandez, and Brazil’s Kaka. The general public is more aware of these names than they are their own leaders or heads of state. Today, FIFA is like the shadow government that is secretly ruling the world.

This is the age of football!