The stadiums inside will have regulated climate controls systems. Outside may not be so much fun in the 45-50 degree heat. Big disappointment for the USA. But soccer in this country is going to flourish nevertheless and if FIFA wants to organize a World Cup at a drop, it need not look further than here. 1994 was a last minute switch and it turned out to be the most profitable choice.
You might call Qatar a quirky choice but this also had to do with the oil rich kingdom putting up all the money and taking on inherent risks thus addressing FIFA’s legal concerns most satisfactorily amongst the rival bids. This includes loss of revenue from possibly depressed ticket sales, TV and broadcasting rights, and merchandising.
Qatar’s royal family has almost $50 billion in personal investments and its per capita income is one of the highest in the world. They are the surest best to ride out untouched by economic vagaries in the next 100 years. Unlike SA, there will be no debate as to whether the World Cup will help them economically or showcase the new post apartheid era. It is purely to push them in the forefront of the world map. A quid pro quo aided and abetted by Sepp Blatter.
” Ambition and megalomania seem boundless in this country, which is less than half the size of Belgium and, beyond the capital, consists of nothing but desert.”
The biggest quandary facing Qatar like SA is they will have to develop a soccer team that can get past the first round. But that too maybe possible because the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani has taken on Josep Colomer’s vision of assembling a future team of stars culled from global talent and luring them to Qatar.
Qatar is not an instinctive first choice but 10 years is a long time to make the world come on board. And they have the money to make even an oil well look interesting. Congratulations to them for winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup.