Qatar should give FIFA back the World Cup

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Picture the scene. Sunday July 10 2022. The final whistle blows, and the 213-strong crowd inside Qatar’s Lusail Iconic Stadium go wild as Kazakhstan are crowned World Champions, beating Papua New Guinea 8-6 in the final.

“It doesn’t matter that almost every other team boycotted the tournament in protest at the 50c heat. A World Cup is a World Cup,” proclaims the team captain, Sergei Khizhnichenko.

The final is also a personal triumph for Sepp Blatter, after a corruption scandal over his decision to award the 2026 tournament to Alaska.

Sounds absurd? Not really. Unfortunately, even though it’s nine years away, it may now be time to think long and hard about Qatar 2022. This website has long championed Qatar’s victory in winning the rights to stage the 2022 tournament. It was a great victory for both Qatar and the Arab world. Qatar put together the best bid, and won every single round of the voting process.  It was done fairly and squarely, and for all the hype, speculation and innuendo, there isn’t a shred of credible evidence to suggest otherwise.

But since then, much has changed.  Whichever spin anyone puts on it, this is the reality today: none of the big teams want to play a summer World Cup in Qatar and most would probably boycott it. Even if they didn’t, the top clubs in Europe would not release their players for a summer tournament on medical grounds, and even less so to a winter tournament because of the disruption it would cause to their domestic seasons. And yes, dare we say it, everyone outside the Gulf thinks Qatar bribed FIFA to win the rights.

FIFA is about to announce a plan to move the tournament to the winter – this will almost certainly prompt  a legal challenge from the countries that lost out on the bid, including Australia and the USA. In all probability, the 2022 World Cup hosting rights will end up in the courts for several years and have to be rebid.

It is, at best, a complete mess. At worst, a total, utter and complete shambles  - none of which is of Qatar’s making or Qatar’s fault. FIFA couldn’t have botched this up more if they tried.

But unfortunately, Qatar is left holding the baby. What should it do? Well,  we believe there is one option. The nuclear option: giving back the World Cup. Telling Blatter and his largely disreputable organisation, “thanks, but no thanks.”

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Posted by: Ronald

South Africa lost a fortune on the World Cup, Fifa, lead by that ghastly despot Blather, walked all over the country, the laws and the people and made promises of investment in soccer and other upliftment projects, almost none of which has seen the light of day. It is accept in SA that people took huge bribes, Cape Town is saddled with a falling down white elephant of a stadium it cannot afford to keep open and only Fifa made a profit, as always, from colonising. If Qatar had any sense they would realise they have lost the battle and the war. Not even Kazakhstan will send a team.

Posted by: rafiq

Qatar should start Nitaqat-style cleansing to eradicate paid propaganda like this.

Posted by: chalky6766

@rafiq- "paid propaganda", "Nitaqat-style" cleansing, this is the World Cup your statement precisely personifies your clear misunderstanding of the situation at hand. This is football not some kind of East vs West battle.

Posted by: Hdee

I think it would be better to get out with clean hands , rather than falling into losses . The $5M that was given away is nothing compared to the Billions that Doha would be spending in the coming years !

Posted by: Dipti

How does typing out your response in caps make it more effective?! Ouch, I can almost hear you screaming that out...
I should think treating labourers like your menial slaves with no rights should be more hurtful to a 'nation's pride', perhaps?!

Posted by: Sobieski

Look like Arabian Business is becoming an anti-Qatar propaganda machine.

If you want to criticize, apply the same standard to everyone and don't be selective.

What about all the previous world cups, winter and summer Olympics, all the other major events taking places in the GCC countries ? ? ?

Posted by: Telcoguy

> Look like Arabian Business is becoming an anti-Qatar propaganda machine.

kind of

> If you want to criticize, apply the same standard to everyone and don't be selective.

Great advice!

> What about all the previous world cups, winter and summer Olympics,

You mean like Moscow in 1980 (boycotted by most western countries) or all the doubts about Brazil readiness for the world cup and olympics? The parliamentary commission investigating (with little success) the deaths of construction workers during Italy rush to finish the stadiums? or India's commonwealth games a few years ago?
Or even the somehow muted criticism of South Africa when they got the World Cup ? I agree they got a free pass

Big world events attract scrutiny. Big news

Are you sure that your lack of memory of previous criticism is due to a vast media conspiracy? Or maybe you simply did not pay attention (selection bias anyone)?

> all the other major events taking places in the GCC countries ? ? ?

Like what?

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