Home / International Soccer / Qatar 2022 Fiasco Continues


Since the award of the 2022 World Cup to the tiny Arabian nation of Qatar it seems all FIFA can do is turn what was a debate on the environmental conditions surrounding the proposed location to an out right fiasco. One of the major criticisms of the Qatar bid was the fact that such a small country will have a hard time coming up with the resources and manpower to realize the vision of magnificent stadiums and infrastructure required to hold a tournament of the magnitude of the World Cup. Now, in an attempt to allay this fear, Michel Platini of FIFA has suggested that the tournament be shared with other states in the Gulf. Clearly, Platini must be a complete moron, or totally ignorant of the entire region.

To suggest that Qatar could share the tournament is not a dumb idea in and of itself, but when one looks at the countries surrounding it, the full implications of Platini’s suggestion come to light. Qatar’s largest neighbor is Saudi Arabia, a nation plagues by both an authoritarian theocratic government, economic malaise, and one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. It can count among its proudest achievements the greatest number of financial supporters of Al Qaeda and its leader. It’s feared religious police regularly cane women who leave the house unescorted, sever limbs, and execute political prisoners. Not exactly the ideal place to hold a tournament in which western behavior and cultures will be the norm, I can see the headlines now.

A slightly better idea would be the United Arab Emirates, and its crown jewel of Dubai. While it may hold its own citizens to strict cultural standards, it is one of the most tolerant of the Gulf nations and has hosted international events in the past with great success. The problem here is that a flight between the two countries or long ferry ride would be required, as the only overland route runs through Saudi Arabia which I have previously discussed. The UAE does suffer from the same labor problems as Qatar, and a questionable human rights record, but so did South Africa and it was more or less fine.

Another option would be Bahrain or Kuwait, which presents more or less the same problems as the UAE, with less stability and closer proximity to the hellish landscape of Iraq.

Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran are out for obvious reasons of religious intolerance and outright war, as is Israel or Palestine.

Which leaves Jordan, who could conceivably host the tournament and has the cultural tolerance that would welcome all comers, so long as they kept their clothes on and stay relatively sober. Probably the best choice in the Middle East, Jordan would constitute the only real option, but would present the same security concerns as Qatar, and need to undertake significant construction projects in order to be ready in time. Overall, no real good choices present themselves.

Clearly, Mr. Platini should read a newspaper every once in awhile, or leave the decisions on location up someone with a little more experience in these matters.

Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com


About the author: Matthew Wall


I've played soccer since I could walk thanks to my father and love keeping up on all the latest gear and gab. I'm in my twenties, and I'm lucky enough to have found work in search marketing for a leading soccer retailer after completing my M.A. at Georgetown in 2008. My team is Liverpool, and national side is Ireland, but I've also got a passion for GAA and a number of sports. Feel free to give me a shout on Google+


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One Comment

  1. Arabs know
    The reason for the Persian Gulf.