Qatar Stripped of the World Cup? Not Likely
Despite Australian football chief Frank Lowy’s bellowing that Qatar’s bid on the 2022 World Cup has hardly heard the “last word,” do not count on the quadrennial football tournament moving to another country any time soon. Or at all. Despite Australian, American, Korean and Japanese complaints that Qatar won the 2022 bid in a corrupt fashion, nothing has been proven--except for some of FIFA’s internal issues. Qatar led in balloting from the beginning--Australia, sadly, was knocked out of the first round of voting after scoring only one vote. But the point I make is that the politicking is distracting from the opportunity the world has to watch an innovative and successful venue in the Middle East. Despite its current massive carbon footprint, Qatar is emerging on the global stage, turning the conventional ideas we have about the Middle East on their heads. Not the mention the progress that can be made on technologies including solar. Shenanigans have had their role in past global events: the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Not to excuse any corruption, but Qatar went into last year’s bidding process with a strong and outsized bid that will make the world beam. The rest of the world is better off moving on and waiting to host the 2026 and 2034 World Cup events. But not the 2030 World Cup: that will go to Uruguay and Argentina to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the inaugural competition, of course! Pictured: Lusail Iconic Stadium, a proposed venue for the 2022 World Cup. Photo courtesy Wiki Commons.
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