Football is widely known as the world’s most popular sport. It is a team game consisting of 11 players from each side, and four referees in total. The referees’ primary function is to oversee the game and make decisions that uphold the game’s rule. The highlight of this lovely game is the FIFA World Cup which is held once every four years. Since billions of people love this game, winning the hosting rights of a FIFA World Cup isn’t easy for a country. So rarely does it happen that many people only get to see the FIFA World Cup played once in their lifetime on their home soil? All countries play qualification matches against each other in the preceding three years to determine which nation has the right to compete at a world cup. Thirty-two teams get to go and play in the most excellent show on earth out of this. Given its popularity among its young people, Qatar has a growing interest in football. Football is just one of the things Qatar is seeking to use to show itself on the stage around the world. Owing to its immense resources, the Government of Qatar has the goal of bringing as many people as possible to know about Qatar. It is achieved through festivals, science conferences and sporting festivals, the most popular of which is the FIFA World Cup.
It’s quite apparent not just any nation will secure the FIFA World Cup hosting rights. FIFA has very stringent requirements that need to be met for prospective host countries to be qualified to host the cup. If there is a world cup, FIFA insists that its rules replace any state legislation. This proved to be a problem with Brazil’s 2014 FIFA World Cup. FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valcke recently said: “Either we do it together (the cup) or we’re never going to handle it (Murphy, 2011). Many of these demands include match ticket costs, fines for counterfeit merchandise and a ban on the selling of some types of alcohol in stadiums. The country that wins the hosting rights must also have sufficient protection for both players and fans, due to the size of the game. Hospitals, hotels, and food are some of the primary logistical needs that need to be tackled. Since the event’s goal is to make as much money as possible for football, it allows the host nation to have a certain number of large stadiums so that the income from ticket sales is high. Some of FIFA’s aims is to publicize football all over and to help developing countries who never get the opportunity to take part in such an event. FIFA considers football to be a global game, and that is why they want to make the game to new areas. The FIFA World Cup has already been hosted at least once by every part of the world. The Middle East is the last significant region that has hosted the most important event of FIFA yet.
Quite a few people expected that it would be too difficult for Qatar to gain the FIFA World Cup hosting rights compared to the US and Australia’s competing bids. There were plenty of explanations why they felt this was so. Qatar is, first, a hot place. FIFA has a cap on what weather is considered perfect for playing football in, and the temperature in Qatar is far above that level (Marcus, 2010). Compared with other large countries, Qatar’s geographical area is also tiny.
Moreover, the Middle East is not seen as a safe location for visitors. Many Western governments are warning their people travelling in the area primarily because of the degree of violence associated with the district. The new international demonstrations in countries like Syria, Egypt and Libya have shown that things can very quickly get out of control. The Qatari government, on the other hand, used that disadvantage and pleaded that the FIFA World Cup could help unite the divided region. The Qatari bid team have promised to install air conditioners in every football stadium for the world cup to ease international concerns. The program will be based on renewable energy, which will have a path for the future in terms of hosting world cups. Another advantage with Qatar is that it is a relatively stable state relative to the rest of the world due to the low number of crimes that occur.
To use its geographical location to its advantage, Qatar has promised to build trains that run between each of the stadiums (Johnson, 2010). This would be a first for the FIFA World Cup. It may be possible to go to more than one match on the same day because it will only take 20 minutes to get from one stadium to another. Also, Qatar will donate much of the profit that it makes to the developing nations within the region. Once the cup is over, many of its stadiums will be dismantled and given to countries in Africa. Despite being a strict Muslim country, Qatar will allow for the consumption of alcohol during the FIFA World Cup 2022. In addition to this, Qatar has the best sports group channel in the world. If the FIFA World Cup happens in the Middle East, then three billion people will be able to watch the games live because Qatar is located directly in the middle of the world. Because of this, all the surrounding regions will be able to watch it live in their time zones. To further help its bid, Qatar has taken onboard many ambassadors such as Zinedine Zidane, one of the best players in the modern era, and Josep “Pep” Guardiola, one of the best managers in the modern game. Zinedine Zidane helped lead the bid, and he thinks that the cup will give a boost to the whole Arab region: “It’s a victory for the Arab world. Qatar has received support from the Arab world as a whole and I think that’s been an important factor” (FIFA.com, 2010).
Something that may have turned the vote in Qatar’s favour was the use of Israeli children in its presentation to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The members of the FIFA Executive Committee saw the images of Israeli children during Qatar’s presentation bid. One of the Israeli kids mentions that he supports the World Cup coming to Qatar, and he wishes that his team would make it to the finals that year and face the host nation. He dreamed that the players of both countries would shake hands with each other and recognize each other for the football nations that they are. This was a touching gesture, and it may have had a lasting impact on the FIFA members who viewed the presentation. Before the vote, the Qatari bid was largely written off, but this act of kindness may have helped to sway the votes of some members of the FIFA Executive Committee.
Currently, the whole world is going through a significant financial crisis. This makes it hard when it comes to hosting a FIFA World Cup. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa received millions of dollar in aid to help make the event as successful as possible. FIFA has promised that it will help future nations in hosting the world cup to the tune of at least one billion dollars. Although America did, Qatar did not ask for this extra support though. The total cost to host the world cup in Qatar is expected to be around $54 billion. This will help fuel the local economy for many years to come.
Although Qatar is a small country, its citizens enjoy the highest average income in the world. The per capita income is more than 85 thousand dollars per year, according to the Bulletin of the International Monetary Fund for 2008. As a result of this recent growth, Doha is building infrastructure in 2012 that is expected to be worth than $100 billion. The awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is a milestone because Qatar will be the first country in FIFA to host the world cup having never previously qualified. However, this could change if Qatar manages to be eligible for either of the next two world cups. Some people say that the purpose of the bid was to ensure that Qatar would get to play at a FIFA World Cup. When it came to the all-important vote, Qatar received 14 votes while the United States of America only got eight.
The Qatari presentation was the best overall because it was more compelling than the others. Also, the Qatari bid covered all the essential points and gave special reasons why the FIFA World Cup would benefit Qatar the most. Zinedine Zidane said: “Nothing is impossible. We must strive for perfection, and then the impossible becomes possible. There are no limits to our dreams, but we simply have to believe them to become a reality. Only when we work hard and respect the big and small achievements can we achieve success and go beyond the limits of life.”