The USA got robbed. And so did a lot of other countries. FIFA has always reeked of corruption but the smells of shadiness are truly wafting through the soccer organization and governing body’s walls. How were the world cup bids for 2018 and 2022 given to Russia and Qatar accordingly? Well, money talks and I think the political representatives were greasing FIFA. And of course FIFA would have no problem looking the other way to “expand the game to places where soccer isn’t celebrated aka impoverished countries”. Still, weeks after the announcement, I can’t wrap my head around it.
Let’s review some key points and then I’ll let you decide. Qatar’s team is currently ranked 113th in the world in soccer. Sure, they’ll get the automatic host country bid but I’d suspect they’ll get clobbered in every match. That won’t exactly look “stellar” for the host country, will it? A previous failed inspection shortly before the decision was reached? Qatar fulfilled that quota, too. Meanwhile, countries like the USA and England executed fantastic presentations and FIFA basically ignored them. And then we hear about this, air conditioned stadiums? That’s right. Is Sepp Blatter insane?
Now, a world cup atmosphere is usually littered with drinking, partying, and crazy merriment or so-called revelry. The Arabic culture looks very poorly upon this behavior and is on a whole very much against drinking. Personally, I can tell you that I’ve been to one Arabic culture in my lifetime and it was very difficult to obtain alcohol and the options were limited. I also felt like I was breaking some sort of civil law while I was doing it and that people were scowling at me as I walked out of the tiny store with my bottle of vodka. It is said that because of the laws that are already in place in Qatar, that they may have to establish separate drinking zones within the stadiums. So, I can’t even drink my beer from my seat? Are you serious?
How about the climate in Qatar? Even with these air conditioned stadiums (which aren’t built yet), countries will still have to travel in extreme heat between matches. How about security throughout the country? Is it solid? The country is very small (it will be the smallest nation ever to host the world cup) and about the same size as the city of Houston. I really hope that Islamic extremists will not get a nice crack at visiting tourists over there. Let me make one thing astoundingly clear; I’m all for spreading the global game of soccer but none of these stadiums have even been built yet and there are extreme security issues.
Here’s another curious note: They are telling Muslims in their own country to make a pilgrimage to Mecca if they don’t like the “atmosphere” aka the drunken tomfoolery that accompanies a world cup.
And then it got really ridiculous when this happened. A German football great and FIFA executive committee member said that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,”should be played in January and February, when the temperatures in the Gulf state are more moderate.” Are we going to move the champions league schedule and every other league schedule and switch the way the entire sport functions? He further went on to assert that Qatar needs to triple the size of their airport and make sure the nine new stadiums are up to par. You think? It’s worth nothing he’s resigning from the board of FIFA (probably because he’s sick of these ridiculous antics).
All in all, there are still some more serious pending questions related to a bribery scandal. Qatar and all applicable parties still need to explain how two more FIFA executive committee members somehow were paid $1.5 million for their votes. Suffice to say, you won’t find me in the desert if this country remains the 2002 World Cup host.
About the Author
Written by Timothy Ashe Jr.
Tim was born and raised in Downers Grove, IL (a suburb of Chicago). He graduated with a degree in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign and also holds University English Language Excellence certificates. He's fluent in Spanish and teaches both English and Spanish in his spare time. He's a Real Madrid and Chicago Fire aficionado and is partial towards the EPL and LFP. His hope is that the game of soccer can continue to grow in the U.S.A. and for our men's national team to eventually win the World Cup.