Should Qatar Host the World Cup?

Should Qatar Host the World Cup?


With it looking increasingly likely that Qatar will be hosting the 2022 World Cup, George Dagless questions whether one of the world’s most controversial countries really should be allowed to host such an important international event.

From the moment it was announced that Qatar would host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there was uproar. There have been allegations of corruption, bribes and underhand tactics, all of which have led to this Middle Eastern nation securing arguably the most lucrative sporting tournament on the planet. The question is: should Qatar host the World Cup?

There are many well-documented reasons why Qatar should not host it. But before we delve into these, let’s consider why Qatar could be good hosts.

Much has been made of Qatar’s human rights issues, one such example being reports of poor conditions for foreign workers. Of course, on the face of it, this should deter us from wanting a Qatari World Cup. But we should also note that, since these reports came to light, the Qataris have acted and have issued new rules to be followed, with the aim of improving said conditions.

What does this tell us? Well, that this should be a precedent for the resolution of other Qatari problems. This scenario indicates that Qatar, as a nation, is more than willing to address its human rights issues. Why has this come about? Because of the media attention that comes hand in hand with being a future World Cup host nation.

FIFA’s decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup has been met with international consternation

However, it would appear that the majority of people are against a Qatari World Cup. Their main argument is that it should not go to a country with these human rights issues. Is it fair or even just to award a nation a sporting tournament, when they cannot even look after their own citizens?

And what about the players and coaches who will be travelling out to the gulf state? Much has been made of the heat of a Qatari summer. Fears over players’ welfare are of paramount importance in this particular discussion, so much so that a winter World Cup is now a real possibility. However, this will be a logistical nightmare for clubs and leagues worldwide. Seasons are set up so that, even in a World Cup year, they work out for the vast majority of football leagues.

Without being prejudiced against the rest of the world, the European club season is the most important on the planet: the world’s best players and clubs all reside within Europe. Trying to keep the impact of a winter World Cup to a minimum will be a massive test. A test that should never have come about in the first place.

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