Why did Qatar even want the World Cup?
The tiny country in the Middle East — known for its poor human rights record – is hosting the World Cup, but did Qatar really WANT it to start? Whoever government officials are in charge of bringing the world’s biggest sporting event to their country must have wanted it enough to take the initiative, but the enthusiasm surrounding the event from the locals seems non-existent.
The host nation had never qualified for a World Cup before but secured an automatic bid to stage the World Cup within their borders and played their first tournament game on Sunday. With 12 years of controversy and anticipation leading up to this moment, as the world watched the only game on the opening day of the tournament, Qatar fans walked away at half-time.
I can’t think of any other country in the world whose fans would do this. Think back to 2014 and the passion of Brazilian fans. Now imagine if this was Brazil’s first time at the World Cup. Do you think fans would leave just because the team lost? No, fans would probably still be seated long after the janitors were done sweeping the floors. These fans stayed and watched in tears as Germany beat Seleção Canarinho 7-1 in the semi-finals. There were plenty of reasons why Brazil shouldn’t have hosted the tournament either, but it was clear that a lot of people did.
Qatar is the first country to make its World Cup debut as hosts since Italy in 1934. Ironically, Italy was the only host country ever required to qualify. Not only did the Italians qualify, but the Azzuri won everything.
Spoiler alert: Qatar is not going to win this World Cup. Hell, Qatar has no business in this tournament.
The quality of the team and the indifference of the fans indicates that everyone already knew that this is one of the last places that should host this event. How is that to contribute to the discourse? Just wait to hear how I think they got it. The money may have changed handsyet Qatar has denied the corruption allegations.
Apart from the sectarian government and the terrible human rights record, it still makes no sense. The 2026 World Cup will take place in the United States, Canada and Mexico, three countries that already have the infrastructure to host it. No new stadiums are built, and only an American stadium (Arrowhead Stadium) will have to be modernized. This should significantly reduce the number of construction worker fatalities, of which there were about 6,500 in preparation for the tournament in Qatar.
Bribing your way to put on the event, killing thousands of people building the stadiums, and then almost emptying those same stadiums during the game like you’re Texas A&M fans is absurdly disrespectful.
The opening ceremony featured all the home videos of the country’s princes playing football that they could find to show that they do in fact have a “football culture”. No one is happy the World Cup is here, and that apparently includes the people of Qatar. If the Arab nation didn’t really want it, then it looks like they just bought it because they could.