- Russia has hosted what has been billed as the best ever World Cup and proved to the world that as a country it is not as drab, dreary and unfriendly as people think
- The attention of the world at large will now turn to the tiny Kingdom of Qatar which hosts the next instalment of the FIFA World Cup in 2022
- Qatar promises to be a special kind of tournament with no expense being spared
Russia has been the focal point of the world’s attention for the last month, but this morning the world turns (as it always does after the World Cup) its attention to the tiny Kingdom of Qatar and what to expect when it hosts the next edition of the tournament in four years.
Football fans and pundits were unsure of what to expect when they arrived in Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup which started in June and concluded on Sunday. To say the host country surprised the world with its friendliness is an understatement.
Visitors were surprised to find a nation filled with smiles and warmth, everyone expected that the tournament would be well organised, a certain Mr Putin made sure of that, but people were surprised to find that Russia was not a drab and dreary place and the Russian people came out of their shell and changed the negative perception most of the world has about the country as a poor backwater wasteland.
Briefly.co.za gathered that with Russia’s successful World Cup now in the history books the world at large will now focus on Qatar. This includes FIFA itself, football fans, national football teams, economists and even human rights watchers.
The only thing which is certain about the 2022 World Cup is that it will be a spectacular affair the likes of which the world has never seen and there will be a number of firsts for the 2022 edition.
IOL.co.za reported that Qatar is a tiny Gulf Kingdom with a population of roughly 2.5 million people. The country is only 180km long from one end to another and all of the 2022 venues will be within 35km of the capital Doha.
Qatar has no real sporting history and has never taken part in the World Cup.
FIFA has decided to move the tournament from its traditional June/July time slot to November/December because it’s simply too hot to play football in the middle of summer.
The 2022 edition will be the last time the tournament has 32-teams taking part, FIFA recently announced that the 2026 edition in Mexico, Canada and the USA will be the first time it trials its expanded 64-team tournament.
Qatar will be the first Arab country to host the World Cup although its selection to host the tournament has come under suspicion following various scandals at FIFA.
The country is building eight stadia to host World Cup games, one has already been completed and lucrative contracts have ensured that the others will be completed well ahead of schedule.
These contracts have come under scrutiny from human rights watchers who have claimed that Qatar is taking advantage of workers building these magnificent sporting arenas.
Qatar being an oil-rich country has fabulous wealth which guarantees fans will be in for a spectacular show. Organisers have already confirmed that they will relax law about drinking alcohol in certain approved areas surrounding the world cup.
Organisers hope this will encourage a party atmosphere and help the country (like South Africa did in 2010 and Russia did in 2018) show itself off in a different light and dispel myths and stereotypes about the country.
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