Spotlight: Qatar hosts the AFC Asian Cup


The Asian Cup begins in Qatar today providing a preview to the world’s biggest dance in 2022.
Can the tiny oil and gas rich country start turning around the skepticism that greeted it’s shock selection? How about their national team – a usual joke even with its neighbours? Can Brian Metsu make them competitive? How will they handle the issue of indentured labour that regularly gets them into trouble with human rights organizations? Will they make allowances to the LGBT community to express themselves openly since homosexuality comes under their blasphemy laws? Will they relax rules that forbid alcohol in public spaces? And the heat, oh the heat! Even winter brings on a milder version of sunstroke.

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2 comments on “Spotlight: Qatar hosts the AFC Asian Cup
  1. In contrary, I don’t have any skepticism about Qatar ability to organize a world cup.
    Most media skepticism coming from lack of knowledge about that area and how it developed in last two decades.
    First of all, when we talk about Qatar, we talk about Dubai and Qatar together. They are growing at the same way exactly, and Dubai is setting up the trend, and Qatar is only few years away from that. They copy/paste Dubai experience, and they been very successful in that, even surprassing Dubai in some areas. They have so much similarities together. And if you see Dubai today, this is what you expect Qatar to be. They are not far away from that.
    As a tourist, Dubai provides better practical services than Europe (hotels, transportation, airport, all sort of services, cleaniness, convenience, security ….etc). Yes, it feels so artificial, sort of the feeling you get when you visit Las Vegas or Orlando. Qatar is not far at all in these services.
    - Qatar hosting Asian Cup will be peice of kick. They did that in 1988. They hosted Youth World Cup 1995 successfully, in just 3 weeks of
    prepatations when Nigeria was ruled out at last minute. Also, Qatar hosted Asian games 2006 which is a bigger event than the previous two. That one
    had 10,500 sports people.
    - The idea that Royals throwing money without knowing what to do in them is an absolute myth. Countries like Libya, Nigeria, Brunai, Iran, Iraq, Venezuella all are very rich countries with very bad infrastrucure and services. UAE and Qatar are rich, and yes, spending a lot of money, but building world class facilities in very professional way.
    - Between Bahrain, Qatar and UAE, they hosted many World Class tournaments, like Formula ones, Tennis, Golf, Regby, World Club Cup …etc, with
    big success. WC 2022 will be the biggest of them.
    - I remember attending a marketing seminar in Dubai last year, and there was a speaker from a company that is working with the government in developing the image of Qatar for the future. One of the things, they put sports as one of the key factors to develop Qatar Campaign.
    Now on the other point of the National Team, I think this is not a criteria for success of World Cup.
    Otherwise, USA was a joke team when USA was selected to host a WC. It hasn’t qualified since 1950 to a WC, though competing in a continent with practically one strong team. When US was selected to host 94WC, it created significant international criticism and skepticism.
    Also, media used to say: Soccer is not even one of top sports in the country. I remember commentator saying “there is no news on WC opening on TV. All the channels are talking about OJ Simpson, Did he kill his wife or not?”
    Time proved giving a chance to a country like that can boost the sport to another level.
    In general, Qatar team with “Aspire Academy” will change a lot in five years. In 10 years, it will be a very good team.
    This is part1
    I have part2 on my comments :)

  2. here is part2 of my comments:
    - Weather: saying that even winter brings sunstroke is very exaggerated, unless you are talking about 2 weeks old infants!!!!
    In reality, after checking avg temperatures, WC can be held even in June without even air-conditioned stadiums, and it will still be very okay. Games only need to be played at 4pm onwards
    http://www.qatarembassy.net/imgs/climate.jpg
    it will be still better than the conditioned played in 1994 WC when they played during noon times.
    - Human rights: Sorry, but i dont want even to start with this topic. HR is a political propaganda to make certain nations appear as the bad ones, that need to be taught a lesson.
    In reality, Qatar lost respect of all of the respected education and media community in the region who cares about HR issues, because Qatar was an ally in one of the worst HR issues in last few decades:
    they provided the backbone support to all US strikes vs. Iraq that resulted in half million innocent people killed, in conservative estimates. As Qatar opened its land to have the biggest US base in the region.
    However, I don’t like mixing sport with politics.
    It is a very tricky game if we started with this.
    - Honestly, I was expecting Qatar file to come second after Australia. But, I never expected US, Japan or Korea to win, otherwise it will be a big mistake.
    Having a WC in a new land brings to much good to football.
    - Finally, Qatar won’t provide the entertainment that people might get in Australia, but it will bring big luxury and convenience to soccer fans:
    1. It is very much accessable by airlines from all the continents. It is in the middle of all continents.
    2. Travel distance in Qatar will be very less. It is a dream land for a fan: you check in in one hotel and you can see much groups and games, that was never possible before.
    I remember i was trying to attend 2006 wc, but didnt make it. I studied how many cities, games and routes I make with reasonable budget. I came into conclusion, I should compromise so much of the games i wanna attend, and limit my trip to two cities only.

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