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Qatar 'spent big' to win 2022 World Cup

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David Bond | 14:33 UK time, Tuesday, 12 July 2011

One of the areas Hassan al Thawadi refused to discuss during my Newsnight interview with him was the amount of money Qatar spent on its successful World Cup bid.

Despite repeatedly asking him to reveal the bid's budget the former chief executive, now overseeing preparations for the tournament 11 years from now, wouldn't budge.

He argued - perhaps with some justification - that if he opened up Qatar's accounts for public scrutiny then he would be inviting another wave of international opprobrium at the country's vast spending power. He didn't say this but he probably also felt that inferences would once again be drawn about Qatar's methods of winning influence during the controversial two-year campaign.

But al Thawadi does admit that his country's bid budget was way more than the $43m (£27m at current exchange rates) previously reported. My guess is that it is closer to $100m (£63m). He spent $27m (£17m) alone on a mini prototype stadium with the air-cooling technology Qatar plans to roll out during the World Cup, while about the same again was spent on the bid's marketing and press budget.

Once you include the money spent on high-profile ambassadors such as Zinedine Zidane and factor in the cost of building the Al Sadd Stadium - the first fully functioning air-conditioned arena in Qatar - then it's easy to see why rival bidders such as the United States argue that it wasn't a level playing field.

Al Thawadi says Qatar had to spend big because it was the underdog and had to convince the world it meant business.

"We will not lie, our budget was significantly higher than any of the other bids," he told me. "But if you take into consideration what we had to spend it on. We started behind everyone else, we had to win hearts and minds."

Maybe this really was what Jerome Valcke, the general secretary of Fifa, was referring to when he wrote that e-mail to Jack Warner decrying the fact that Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari head of Asian football, was trying to buy votes "as Qatar bought WC" (the World Cup).

Al Thawadi said Qatar officials were angry when the e-mail was leaked by Warner and even went so far as to threaten Valcke with legal action unless he clarified his remarks. He goes on to hint at the possibility that Valcke and other senior Fifa officials were opposed to Qatar's bid.

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"There were a lot of people who did not take our bid seriously, whether it was inside Fifa or outside Fifa," he said. By finally coming out and putting Qatar's case, al Thawadi will hope he has drawn a line under the wave of negative publicity that he and his team have faced since winning the bid, publicity he said was motivated by prejudice. On this point I believe he is wrong. It is not prejudice which is driving the anti-Qatar lobby.

It is partly incredulity at the decision taken by 14 members of the Fifa executive committee to send the World Cup to a country, which despite all its money, is still at such an early stage of its development. A country which can experience temperatures of more than 50 degrees during the summer months when the tournament would be played.

It was unseasonably cool last week while I was in Doha but it was still in the mid-40s and when the humidity was high, it was unbearable for longer than 10 minutes. According to Qatar's current plans the World Cup final would have been played on 3 July.

But the main reason for the cynicism towards Qatar is that people refuse to believe that Fifa, an organisation now mired in corruption allegations, could have reached a conclusion on the contest for 2022 in a sound and untainted way.

With "whistleblower" Phaedra Almajid's retraction of corruption allegations against members of Fifa's executive committee and Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid, the main source of claims against the Gulf state appears to have gone quiet.

This means Mohamed Bin Hammam now poses the biggest threat to Qatar's reputation. If he is thrown out of Fifa for trying to bribe Caribbean football officials during his bid for the presidency, fresh questions will be asked about his role during the 2022 campaign.

Al Thawadi distanced himself and the bid from Bin Hammam, saying he wasn't the architect of their success. But however reluctant he may have been at the start of the campaign it still seems a bit far fetched to claim Bin Hammam played no part in persuading his fellow executive committee members to back his country.

Ultimately - and al Thawadi and his lawyers in London know this - it all comes down to evidence and as things stand there isn't a single piece of hard, irrefutable proof that he or his team did anything which broke Fifa's rules during Qatar's bid.

Fifa stated this again on Monday, backing its members who had previously been accused of corruption, and effectively closing down any remaining calls for a review of the 2022 decision.

That won't stop people wondering how on earth Qatar won it. But for now it buys al Thawadi and Qatar a bit of breathing space.

If only the same could be said for Fifa.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    As you mention in your article most people assume its corruption because there's no other reason to choose qatar , its such a crazy choice. So it's either corruption or complete incompetence and a choice not based at all on logic or whats good for the sport. I can't believe even FIFA is that incompetent.

  • Comment number 2.

    FIFA needs to win back credibility by getting rid of the suits and having the world governing body for football ran by former professionals who know the game!

  • Comment number 3.

    I think the speculation to the legality of the bid is harsh. Yes, FIFA and UEFA need to look at themselves to their dealings in domestic issues ( http://wp.me/p1z74j-O - Barca) but I think Qatar have spent big to make this world cup happen. And with the oil money at their disposal I'm backing them to put on a big show.

    I think, and I agree with the QWC spokesman on the news last night. These allegations are stemming from individual's stereotypes. "Qatar must have bought it because they're not developed enough to earn it".

  • Comment number 4.

    There's probably a lot of jealousy at the heart of any negative comments about the World Cup being held in Qatar.

    Also, let us not forget how needless it was for the decision of where to host the 2022 World Cup being taken so far in advance.

    As for the actual location, I think that 'they' wanted a world cup in the middle east and most countries either have cultural, security or economic reasons why they can't hold it.

    Qatar is perhaps more stable on those issues so despite it's size, it has won the day.

    As for Qatar spending big on it's bid, I think it's all a matter of semantics really. If people have money, they are going to use it to get what they want.

    Qatar may have succeeded where, say, England failed, but then a World Cup in here would never have ticked all the boxes for the objectives that FIFA were going to achieve.

    As for FIFA itself, well, what more can we say...

  • Comment number 5.

    Doesn't ANYONE understand how international business is done?

  • Comment number 6.

    #5 cynicalyorkie2

    Presumably those who are good at it have a fair understanding.

    It's all about greasing the wheels though isn't it. You scratch my back either with cash or by massaging my ego, and we can do business. Have's and have not's etc etc

  • Comment number 7.

    Its not in my general nature to be negative as I like the idea of the underdog achieving things in life (even if in this case the underdog is extremely wealthy) however I have lived in the middle-east for many years and I KNOW what the summer is like in Qatar and the UAE (where I live). I have seen many, many fanciful ideas for moderating the climate and to date there has been no proven technical solution for abating humidity in the external environment. I play golf thoughout the summer in temperatures of 45C + and humidity of 80% plus. It is extremely painful at times and leaves most of us feeling damaged. We continue because the golf is cheap ( a third of the winter green fees) and the beaches are too hot to spend weekends. As bizarre as it sounds, the Gulf sea can be warmer than the actual air temperature in the summer so going to the beach does not help. The concept of football being played over a period of 4 weeks in these conditions is mostly insane and no amount of clever talk will persuade me, or the majority of rationale people that this world cup makes sense. The only positive feature is that a lot of clever consultants and contractors will make a lot of money from the experience of providing air-conditioned stadiums etc. I wonder what the 'carbon footprint' of this will be? I do love the absolute earnestness of the Qatari spokespeople that it will be fine. Where is the proof of this? Good luck.

  • Comment number 8.

    I have no objections with spending big to win the right to host a tournament, as long as those funds are spent building stadiums and improving sports facilities.

    The World Cup is the biggest stage in football so you need the biggest and best stadiums available. It also ensures a healthy future for the younger generation to use these facilities and also create jobs.

    However I do feel that choosing Qatar is a big mistake. We've already heard rumours of the World Cup being moved to January or the match divided up into thirds rather than halfs.

    But the biggest issue is the weather, I'm very pessimistic about the whole air conditioned stadiums. Even if they are able to pull it off, what happens for teams training during the tournament. Air conditioned training pitches surely is beyond them.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    David - There are so many curious aspects to Qatar being awarded the 2022 WC! The size of the place, the stifling heat, the lack of any infrastructure (at present) to deal with a World event such as the Football WC. Then there is the matter of why Fifa awarded two WC's at one go!

    Therefore it is not surprising that the subsequent belief amongst many, is that Qatar 'bought' the event, if not through illegal/corrupt methods, but simply by 'throwing money' at it! However there is still the problems to be solved about how on earth can a small country, with a climate so severe (it will surely have a major effect on the outcome of the tournament) and with customs (and some laws) that will not be 'visitor friendly' for many of the foreigners expecting to attend, be able to put on a show expected by Fifa?
    Since he will not be President of Fifa in 2022, perhaps this is Sepp Blatters attempt at 'thumbing his nose' at those who will be left behind to sort out the mess. I can imagine him sat in his retirement home chuckling to himself,some time in 2022!

  • Comment number 11.

    i know this seems a bit obvious but surely to combat the heat you just play the matches at night, it fits better for a european tv audience anyway and there would be no need for air conditioned stadiums, start the matches at say 9, 11 and 1 local time and it should be fine

  • Comment number 12.

    one other thing, you should be more respectful to the qatari ambassador when interviewing him David. Its not his job to justify the laws and cultures of his country (although i think the homosexuality one may need to be "ignored" for a month) and he actually came across a lot better than you did in the interview, especially with regards to their unfree press, look how well ours is doing!

  • Comment number 13.

    Climate is a major factor,U17 World Cup to be held in UAE,but in October/November,Qatar held a very good Asian Cup this but it was played in January.Human Rights and alcohol consumption will be limited and Budweiser is a major FIFA sponsor,after all.Hope air con tech improves in the next 10 years! Ms Al Maidij contribution about withdrawing her allegations of corruption about 2022 bid were not convincing!

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    Milkybar63 - playing football outside at night in Doha in June or July will result in death. The heat may well go down to the late 30's but the humidity will drain the liquid from your body in similar fashion to the process used by the 'Mummy' in the first installment of that same named film... I live in Dubai and travel the region a lot, you do not want to be here from mid June to early September.

    Forgeting the footballers - what are the fans going to do? You cannot go out in the day, the laws on entertainment are restrictive and the prices of a hotel and/or a beer obscene. This is the game of the people, but who will watch it?

    Regardless of corruption or money spent, the award is obscene and typical of the stupidty of FIFA.

  • Comment number 17.

    #11

    It can still get hot at night over there, even at 10pm - besides how does someone play at midnight/1am when the body naturaly begins to tire, assuming you have a pretty regular body clock which i assume footballers do. Also, there will be a worldwide audience and not just a European one.

    I personally dont have a problem with Qatar winning the bid (if it was done fairly) so long as all the issues can be sorted, but no one even knows yet that they will be, so its a bit of a gamble.

    My biggest problem with this whole bid story is that FIFA invited bids from countries like England who, lets face it, were NEVER going to win it. We spent millions of taxpayers money when in reality we were never going to win - and FIFA knew that, im sure they did. They said, did they not that part of the reason for the win was to give the WC to countries who had never had it i.e. Russia and Qatar. Why then did they invite countries like England and the USA to make a bid?

  • Comment number 18.

    With a bit of luck, England won't qualify for this WC (World Cup, not toilet...on second thoughts.)

  • Comment number 19.

    16

    i take your point completely, it was just a suggestion and having not been there i didnt know but as no one had mentioned i thought i might as well. I actually have no problem with qatar hosting the world cup but these air con things had better work although from what you were saying it may be the humidity that kills

  • Comment number 20.

    #18,
    Some might say England already have qualified for the second of your interpretations :)
    Still, I wish Qatar would try to win my influence (not that I have any).

  • Comment number 21.

    I was really upset when Qatar was awarded the World Cup. I was really hoping that it would come to my country the USA. I felt that if we were not awarded the WC it should have gone to Australia. England should have been awarded the WC. My soccer loving friends and I were pumped about going to a WC in England, not so much Russia.

  • Comment number 22.

    I think we should all bear in mind that this is still eleven years away. If a nation like South Africa can put a World Cup together in eight years, anywhere with the kind of wealth Qatar has should be able to put together something truly spectacular, especially with the extra time as well. I'm actually quite hopeful for this. And for all those of you who are pointing out the issues with climate control, a lot can happen in eleven years in terms of technology. Just look where we were in 2000 compared to where we are now. My family had only just got our first computer, for example.

  • Comment number 23.

    I find it even more disturbing that they won the right genuinely. I have been living in Doha for two years (don't kid yourself the tournament is Qatar, Doha is all there is) and I just cant see it. This week, which is around the time the tournament will be held, the temperature was touching 60 C. I don't think people in UK who have not experienced it can comprehend just how bad it is. Even as I type I am sitting in the pool with bags of ice at close to 10pm and I'm sweating. The budgets mentioned to build all the stadiums etc are a joke the cost will be four times what is being mentioned if they are lucky. The "city" that is planned to hold the final (it's really just north Doha) doesn't even exist ; never mind the much talked about "cooling" technology which the whole industry knows doesn't work on a large scale. Much is talked about the players wellbeing in such conditions but what about the fans. Qatar is without doubt the most unwelcoming place I have been to outside of Saudi and how are the fans going to enjoy themselves. There is nowhere to go and even assuming they build masses of hotels you can not venture outside for long in such heat.so where will the atmosphere be? Fans will be squashed inside into hotel bars in a country with no experience of handling large numbers of people who have had a few drinks, it's a recipe for disaster. They plan a metro but as is seen in Dubai in the summer months, it is of no use when you have to walk more than a hundred yards to a station. The Asian cup was a disaster with companies forced to send uninterested indian workers to at least fill a few thousand seats and the final descending into a farce as locals without tickets turned up demanded seats which they are given by Filipino security to terrified to say no, leaving thousands of genuine fans many who had traveled from Australia outside. It has to also be remembered that 75% of the tiny population here are either Indian or Filipino to a lesser extent neither of whom have any interest in football. The cost will run into $100-200 billion to satisfy a local population of somewhere like Southampton.

    Can they build it all in time? For sure yes, Dubai transformed itself in ten years so Doha can too. Can they afford it is yet to be seen with the government already struggling to pay for what is currently under construction. Will it be a success? I just can't see it...... I can't complain it's great for my industry and for the jobs, but everyday I expect to wake up and find that common sense prevails. I fully support the idea of a middle east World Cup but with Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat as partners would be more realistic and let them either build indoor stadiums or hold it in the winter...

  • Comment number 24.

    I thought Hassan al Thawadi defended well and made convincing points but whenever an outsider wins a vote questions are bound to be raised. And given Qatari wealth and FIFA corruption all the more so in this case. If FIFA explained the decision it might help but they have not. The world cup is mega business - construction contracts, commerical deals etc. Nobody is exploring the possibility third parties or intemediaries were involved in bribery. Whatever the case, FIFA has shown it does not represent the football world with a decision nobody outside of Quatar likes.

  • Comment number 25.

    Having lived in Qatar for a few years, I too was surprised when they got the WC. I have no doubt funding will not be a problem, and you can be sure it will produce good quality facilities, you only need to look at the motorcycle race track and facility they built (worlds 1st floodlit), as most of the competitors said, the best they have ever used.

    Building the best facilities and infrastructure is only part of the world cup, you need to have the right management and organisation to make it work, that may prove to be the weakness, unless they invest well there and import the right people, time will tell.

    I have to say, I remeber all the negative remarks when the WC went to Korea and Japan, everyone said they have no experience and it wont work, they proved the doubters wrong. As did Athens and Beijing in the olympics, its time for the old establishments to stop being so arrogant and bitter, and accept other should have a chance

    Regardless we hope it all goes well for everyones sake, especially the paying travelling fans.

  • Comment number 26.

    Is there any particular reason why he should tell you how much they spent on their bid? Do you think it will make you, or anyone else for that matter, feel better about England not being awarded a World Cup that Qatar didn't even bid for?

    In addition, you presume to tell us the thought process of al Thawadi. You have no idea what he was thinking. Surely your job is to tell us what he actually said, not what he may or may not have been thinking.

    After this you go on to tell us your guess at how much the bid cost Qatar. This is total conjecture, and you have no evidence to back it up.

    I read the BBC because most of the pieces are factual with no element of spin. Please stick to the tried and tested, rather than trying to sensationalize an interview that really didn't need to be conducted in the first place.

  • Comment number 27.

    I have also been to the USA in summer and it extremely hot there, players moan that it will affect the pace of the game, well in South Africa players were wearing gloves in some games and yet the pace of the games in general was tedious.

    I actually signed up to the Qatar bid when I visited the website back in 2010, their stadium plans and their ambition for they wanted from the World Cup was impressive. Remember that USA was a wilderness of football when it hosted the World Cup in 1994. If people read the FIFA strategy one of the things it looks for is legacy, there was no hint of a legacy or any meaning behind some bids such as England's.

    Qatar won the bid fair and square in my opinion and I look forward to the World Cup but at least everyone in supplying a nice excuse for the England team already. It was great to see the World Cup staged for the first time in Africa, now we will see it in the Middle East for the first time.

    People say FIFA are motivated by money but if that was the case then England and USA would have won as they are the most commercially rewarding bids for the organisation. However for the good of the game, it needs to be spread and get support in less developed (in football terms) countries.

  • Comment number 28.

    @26
    Factual and Bond can't be used in the same sentance.

  • Comment number 29.

    All this means that by 2026 the World Cup will have gone 20 years without having been hosted in a country with a credible human rights record, with only one of those hosts, Brazil, having a political opposition with a chance of winning an election.

    Even the British have jumped to Sepp Blatter's anti-democratic calls, the reopening of the police investigation into hacking at News of the World coming hot on the heels of his comments on the British media before the 2018 vote. Coincidence much?

  • Comment number 30.

    Westyw9
    "Sitting in a pool with bags full of ice and still sweating"? I suggest you lose some weight my friend. As for "touching 60C", this is a bare faced lie. I've lived in Dubai the past 9 years. 45C is the summer average - and you know it! Alcohol? No problem, you will be able to drink until you drop. Homosexuality? Plenty of gay people live together, party together, go to "gay" clubs together. As long as one is discreet, it's not a problem. At least, not a problem in Dubai. Football-wise, technology may move forwards, but I suspect a closing roof is the best solution. They did this in Japan, why not in Doha?

  • Comment number 31.

    Czechmate (#27)
    While I can't claim to have visited a lot of the US I have lived in Georgia which yes can get very hot in the summer but not typically 50C. About the only places that see that type of temperature would probably be the desert and the US is big enough that it can hold the matches in the cooler areas
    I would also point out that the World cup in South Africa would have been held in their winter so I am not suprised that it got cold down there.

    For me I would have given the 2022 World Cup to Australia - never had it, can provide a legacy and develop the game over there.
    If had been making the decision I Qatar would have had to work very hard to convince me that they could make the conditions suitable for the players and fans as I remain sceptical that it can be done in those sorts of temperatures.
    However they have got the World Cup so I wish them the best and hope they can pull it off

  • Comment number 32.

    To MrBlueBurns (#4)

    I agree the decision for 2022 and 2018 should have been taken at different times.
    However I don't agree that the decision is too early. Given that several of the last/upcoming world cups have gone to countries that need to invest big in their infrastructure/stadiums to hold the World Cup. These countries are going to need longer to prepare for World Cups. Remember the discussions of stadiums for South Africa not being ready and current discussions about Brazil being behind schedule. Also add in the Ukraine/Poland Euros and stadiums that may not be ready.

  • Comment number 33.

    It just doesn't matter. It's a football tournament, for goodness sake, the best team, for those conditions, should win.

    Or maybe it should be held by law every 4 years in "Ingerland", until such time as the miracle happens? I honestly believe that's what most on these forums truly want in their little secret hearts. After all, nowhere else but the legendary "home of football" is worthy of the honour.

    All totally sickening, I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    In all its fairness to Qatar, FIFA have always maintained that the WC must go to a country which has never hosted it before.

    So probably FIFA should not have allowed bids from England & USA. Do not understand why it was allowed.

    AS for the weather problem, i think it is logical that the tournament is held in Winter that is in the months of November & December.

    Europe will be very cold in winter & so the travelling European fans could enjoy a Luke warm weather here. Good the BEST & GOOD LUCK to Qatar.

  • Comment number 36.

    By 2022 it will not matter where the World Cup is at it will be a minor tournament by then surpassed by the Champions League and UEFA's European Championships (which is a better "International" footballing tournament anyway). Brazil 2014 (if it happens) should continue it's rapid decline after the bore of South Africa.

    It will not be held in Qatar , at least not in the summer anyway that is obvious to everyone. No amount of words can make up for the massive obstacles, next they will be bidding for the Winter Olympics.....I am sure they can invent snow just as easy.

    Maybe this is the real agenda to try and change the footballing calendar so the World Cup is held in the Northern hemisphere winter months , something that nice Mr Platini has hinted at.

  • Comment number 37.

    If it does happen (!) then, boycott it. End of.

  • Comment number 38.

    Despite all the criticisms there is one good point to remember. The opening game of the World Cup 2022 in Qatar will not be a goal drought affair, perhaps double figures if it's a strong national side.

  • Comment number 39.

    Yea yea... Here, they're not ACTUALLY going to have the World Cup in Quatar are they?

  • Comment number 40.

    Its about time that english people stop talking about hosting the WC. We all know that its a big business , and if you don't have nothing to trade in , you not gonna get anything, Qatar have money and they did invest , So England need to stop moaning and move on. If we look at the history of the WC , we can see that all the continent had it except the middleast and its about time , and Qatar deserve to host it. So please England call i a day and move on

  • Comment number 41.

    Wonderfull on location interview , as usual BBC has shown direction in reporting but it can not change reporters feelings fed by daily information intake as described by thawadi. I got question for M BOND.
    1.what are the roles played by other FIFA exco members from Russia , England, Us ,Spain ? Because their countries competed in 2018 or why are you asking only the role played by Bin Hamman... Please ask also to Blatter the role played by bin as strong since 1998, supporting blatter.

  • Comment number 42.

    Why only 2 Africans were targeted, and we know 14 people voted for Qatar. And Platini also voted for them.....pls and pls you should know FIFA is not UN where super powers got five slots on the security council...FIFA for all . For the game for the world. As FIFA president said the world is going to new areas such as former estern block and Arab world. Qatar is lucky to bid....

  • Comment number 43.

    Sorry I am coming back again.please we need hear from mike lee who was Qatar bid chief strategist.

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    sorry I meant to say:

    Looks like poop, smells like poop; probably is poop.

  • Comment number 47.

    Personally, I find it sickening how some of the people on these forums are slating Qatar for winning the World Cup bid. Its beyond disgust, I think they had won it on their own merits, and as this author already pointed out, spent huge sums of money to prove people that they had the capacity and resources to host a World Cup.

    The reason for this animosity must stem from prejudice. Qatar is a Muslim country and is governed by Sharia law!! People must feel uncomfortable with the values which they are portraying that are so vastly different from Western standards. It's the WORLD CUP for christ sake, that means we must embrace all culture s and religions inhabited by its peoples the same way we do for all other cultures we are more acquainted with.

    Qatar are even bending over backwards to suit Western demands (alcohol to be served in designated areas, women are allowed to wear what they want- despite that in their culture its considered a crime for such lifestyles). So what's everyones problem? They are building expensive cooler stadiums, only to tear it down and donate them to poorer African countries.....

    Jesus what more can Qatar do to satisfy a group of jealous people who lost out on a world cup bid themselves..... I suppose nothing

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    Really good to see comments by people who live in qatar, just to get a feel for what it is like out there. And by the sounds of it, it is going to be a disaster. From the sounds of things it seems like Qatar is probabaly the worst place to host a World Cup, out of politically stable countries obviously. I am a Brit, working in Singapore at the moment and I play football 1-2 times a week. The climate here is no where near as bad as 45C, but the humidity is around the same (I think). And that is the biggest killer. Im not the fittest lad in the world, but comparing how long i can run in the gym compared to outside is staggering.
    For this to work in Qatar, I think EVERY stadium has to be indoors or else we are going to see some very lethargic football. The country is too small, too hot and too boring (I digress this is what I hear), and is also a country which has not contributed to the sport in anyway. It just seems for a mear month of football, too much work will be needed to make this work. It is just unfeasible.
    I am not a bitter Brit, I am just looking out for a sport that I love. I want to see World cups because they are exciting and entertaining, South Africa was pretty drab and I doubt Qatar is going to be any better.

  • Comment number 50.

    It may surprise many of the readers to know that Qatar, under the leadership of Sheikha Mozah the wife of the Emir, have accomplished many important social advances. They have advanced the status of women, given a base for an excellent news service in Al Jazeera, built a strong research and education centre in the Qatar Foundation etc.etc. None, of course, are perfect. The award of the WC to Qatar, done in the presence of Sheikha Mozah (the impressive lady dressed in purple) could have a strong negative impact on these social programmes. This is because Qatar is very keen to have a strong global reputation as a progressive force in the Middle East. The intense focus of the media and allegations of corruption in the bid process, even if not true, could seriously harm Qatar's reputation and much of its good work on the international level. I would urge Qatar to do its own due diligence on its bid and, if found likely to increase the aforementioned focus, to withdraw gracefully. Monies released could be use to greatly enhance social progress in the Middle East, and thereby greatly enhance Qatar's reputation.

  • Comment number 51.

    Let's face it folks, we all got out-thought on this one.

    Qatar, and this man in particular, knew what he could get away with and knew how much those reptiles in Zurich could be replied upon to come scurrying for the cash. They just set the trap with the bait, and sat back and waited, knowing that they had everyone they needed in their pocket.

    http://www.soccerlimeyinamerica.com/?p=2438

  • Comment number 52.

    I think everybody should quit arguing about the climate conditions.

    UK is a country with very frequent rains and as a fan or player I would hate to spend the whole tournament in rainy wheather, which is always a possibility. And surely, England wouldn't build a roof on every single stadium and training grounds to avoid it.

    As Hassan al Thawadi rightly suggests, the opportunity to host the tournament will initiate huge development of cooling technologies that wouldn't be otherwise possible.

    The worst thing that can happen is that it will be an extremely hot tournament and based on that experience it will be much harder for future bidders from similar countries to succede.

  • Comment number 53.

    Are we seriously doing this all over again?

    It has been debated to death that the decision to award Qatar the cup is madness in terms of the climate there in summer months. As for everything else, there is no reason for debate. Qatar played the same game as every other bidding nation, trying to impress bidders.

    All bidding nations promised other countries financial & footballing benefits. Qatar promised to give them partially built stadia components while England promised friendlies in lovely places like Trinidad & Thailand.

    The weather aspect however is still madness. They could very well have the games start at 7pm and 9pm local time when it is relatively cooler (closer to 30-35 degrees).

    Using solar power they can air-condition the football grounds & training venues in addition to every bit of covered space that is already air-conditioned.

    They might even manage to cool the walking path from the parking lots to the seats but how exactly will they account for the jubilant fans who decide to jump out into the streets after an excellent victory for their team?

  • Comment number 54.

    Another story about Qatar 2022. Not a waste of time at all..............

  • Comment number 55.

    FIFA supposedly want to leave a footballing legacy behind when they do a World cup. What legacy will it leave in such a small country and in a part of the world with a very meagre and short football history. Australia or USA would have made more sense, even though they are not my preffered destinations.

    With their human rights and medieval laws and small population, this is a disaster for football.

  • Comment number 56.

    @Miyah
    thank you for your insight on life in Dubai which is of no reliance to the situation in Doha. That is like comparing Italy with Libya. Sadly unlike Dubai the pools are not cooled in Doha and the humidity is significantly higher on the peninsular than in Dubbers. If you would like to see photographic evidence of the temperatures i will gladly supply. I may even have a photo still of the temperature reading 64 in Motor City from my Dubai days. As you said its the average temperature of 45 which suggests it swings from 35 to 55 to be an average of 45. Furthermore, remember that temperatures stated by weather boards are in shade temperatures. If you worked in Construction you would be aware of heat stress indexes which form part of the labour laws in ME. As for Alcohol yep no problem in Dubai with its hundreds of bars open all day long but in Qatar bars may only open at 5 and i would doubt there is currently more than 10 in total. i don't care really about the alcohol situation that is not my major point. I never even mentioned homosexuality and as it is rife amongst local men i don't believe it is of any concern to visitors hence i never commented on it.

    i also stated let them have indoor stadiums but it is against FIFA regulations at present......

    if the World Cup had been awarded to Dubai i would not utter one word of complaint as it is a great place to live and visit. Come try live in Qatar for a couple of years and live the dream!

  • Comment number 57.

    I’m from the UK but have lived/worked in Qatar (Doha) for over 1 year now and have previously lived in Dubai. I’m in my mid 20’s and love football. I hold no grudges towards any another country as a consequence of them getting to host a world cup and England failing, that doesn’t mean to say I was not gutted that England didn’t host. Anyway here is my opinion based on experiences since living here.

    Firstly, westyw9...... you are spot on with most of your comments, although your quoted temperature of 60c is an over exaggeration. The weather reaches anywhere between 45c – 50c at this time of year (July – September) although it may feel like 60c because of high humidity!

    On alcohol -Qatar (Doha) has numerous bars scattered around that are based in hotels. Some of these bars are lively and have very drunk people in them on weekends; there isn’t a problem with people wandering around the streets intoxicated because there are several taxis waiting outside the hotels for people when the bars close (1-2 am). Legal age 21. You have to have passport showing visit visa or residency card when entering bars, most bars/nightclubs require membership – very strict.

    Will the authorities be able to handle thousands upon thousands of drunken Brits, Russians, Polish, and Australians?? I doubt it very much.

    Ability to host tournament – Asian cup was a disaster. I followed Japan throughout and every game/stadium was about 40% full at best. . I know for a fact that Qatari officials then handed out thousands of free tickets to construction companies to give Indian workers at construction sites so the stadiums looked full on tv coverage (al Jazeera) for the later games.

    The only game that was genuinely almost full was Japan v Qatar (quarter final) and that I think was only circa 25,000 – 30,000 seater stadium. The reason I say genuinely was because when the final came about Japan v Aus – the police / ground staff allowed thousands of locals (Arabs) who had turned up without a ticket free passage into the ground. This resulted in thousands (including me and my mates who had bought tickets in advance) stranded outside the ground 20 minutes before kick off, with no explanation of why we were not allowed in, a member of ground staff was standing on a fence shouting in Arabic. I was then told what he was saying from a member of the angry crowd I was with that he was saying ‘’turn back no more entry’’. We were to my extreme anger not allowed entry , so we had to go and watch it on tv at a barWe got a refund for our tickets over 1 month later. 1 word to sum that experience up – disgraceful. Imagine if this was thousands of drunken football fans not allowed into a world cup game - there would be mayhem.

    Another experience – I attended Brazil v Argentina friendly here. I guy ran on to the pitch in the 80th minute waving his flag running in touching distance of players such as messi. 5 fat policeman were chasing after him, they couldn’t catch him so in the end he just stood there and let them catch him. He could have has a knife and easily harmed a player on the pitch – I was shocked – but what did the local Qataris do stood in front of me (and several more around the stadium) , to my amazement they were stood up clapping and laughing. That was the highlight of their night, not the fact that messi scored a last minute winner for Argentina, but the fact a idiot ran onto the pitch. It was an indication of how little these people know about football. O yeh and the top FIFA officiates were there that night aswell.

    Overview of locals - Qatar is the most unwelcoming country I have ever been to. The majority of the locals I have come across are rudest people I have ever met. non -discrimination, equality and transparency are non existent - and every other westerner I have spoken to in Qatar thinks the same.

    In conclusion , Qatar – World Cup – your having a laugh!

  • Comment number 58.

    I lived in Qatar for 6 months, and can vouch for one of the previous comments on the conditions there, the heat and humidity are extreme. One day I decided to take a 20 minute walk from my office to my apartment to stretch the legs – what a mistake, I nearly died of heat exhaustion!

    You can do things in the evening, when it’s a little cooler and the sun has gone down, but during the day you need to stay indoors and move around in your air-conditioned car.

    So what will 100,000+ football fans from around the world do when they descend on the tiny place looking to party and enjoy the world cup? I think you will see many casualties (probably deaths) from heat stroke, sun stroke and dehydration etc.

    Also there is nothing there, it is a one city state, and a pretty small city at that. Yes there are some nice new office blocks and motorways, but drinking is prohibited (other than in a couple of big hotels). Do you think football fans from England and Germany are going to be content by celebrating with a falafel and milkshake??!!

    I also remember watching their team thrashed by Iran in a local derby, hardly great football pedigree.

    Qatar is a ridiculous choice for the world cup and sadly proves that all that counts is how much money you have.

  • Comment number 59.

    #52

    That is pretty ignorant if you are comparing the effects of 'light drizzle' to 45C heat.

    It rains in every single country across the globe! And it hardly effects the game at all, apart from the playing surface (skipping). Sure rain is not fun, but you can still play in it.

    45C heat and 80% humidity severely effects fitness levels and therfore the way you play. You always see people playing football in the rain. But you will never see people playing football mid-day in climates like Qatar's, simply because it is not worth it.

  • Comment number 60.

    Never mind indoor stadiums for the players (which will make the game dull as dishwater)... what about the outside?

    Fans have to get to the games. At 45c in the shade.

    And back from the games. At 45c in the shade.

    And where will they stay? In air-conditioned tents???

    Or will only the super-rich be allowed to go to the games (ie. those who can afford to stay in the luxury hotels).

    Giving the WC to Qatar is a total farce at so many levels that it just doesnt bear thinking about.




    Some folk will die in that heat.







  • Comment number 61.

    It's nothing to do with prejudice - it's a ridiculous place to play football! 50 degrees!

  • Comment number 62.

    David Bond, David Bond, David Bond!!! We the fans have said it so many times that football is not your strength in journalism, why dont you look for some other sport and comment about? Your interview with Hassan al Thawadi was not necessary, and the truth be said, you looked and sounded very amateurish. This programme was not of any standards of the BBC, it actually did come across as a tabloid style interview.

    I do support Qatar winning the bid, and i think that out of all the negatives fifa has received, this is one decision that gives them credibility. Since the presidency of fifa, the goal has been to take football all over the worldtherby crating a legacy. Football is for all, not just the traditional footballing nations. Remember what happened when Germany got the bid over South Africa, wasn't that injustice? Fifa learnt their lessons from that error, and imo have put it right.
    For those complaining about the heat, doyou consider other players and fans who have to also leave the comfort of theri home countries to attend games in freezing cold and high altitude regions which theyare not used to? What people seem to for get that the srtrength of this world is the differencies btw cultures & geographics: The world is not flat, not round, and not made up of one race, but it certainly does revolve around the sun? Footall is played in the sun, rain, cold all over the world, and so the WC is right to embrace this.
    This is not he olympics which has one competition for all (summer) and another (winter) for a chosen few which i have to say is selective and a gross carriage of injustice as all IOC members are ment to contribute financially to a competiton they do not participate in due to not having the weather conditions needed, and also wil never be able to host the competition, now how does this embody the olympic spirit? No one western journalist ask this question.

    Going back to football, i sincerely do hope that those against the Qatari bid, see what fifa is actually achieving, equality for all through football. The process may not be the smootest, but the ideal is there to see. Who knows after Qatar, we may see WC hosted in Asia (India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia.....). This should be the dream, our precious clubsides have been travelling across for pre-season tours promoting their brand and making a lot of money out of these countries, so a time will come when the world will have to give back. This is what Fifa is doing with football for the world under the stewardship of Sepp Blatter, i do give him much praise and we should all do. Our governments and teh other sporting body (IOC) are useless at promoting this kind of equality. I would vote for Sepp Blatter as the sport personality of the 21st century

  • Comment number 63.

    AbCat wrote:
    All this means that by 2026 the World Cup will have gone 20 years without having been hosted in a country with a credible human rights record, with only one of those hosts, Brazil, having a political opposition with a chance of winning an election.


    Abcat, 2006 Germany, what is wrong with their Human rights record (post 1945 obviously)
    South Africa 2010, again, no great problem with their Human Rights record in the post Apartheid era.
    A rather sweeping statement which is not quite factually correct.

  • Comment number 64.

    I love the way "pro-Qatar" commentators ignore the heat.

    FACT: When you attend a world cup - as a fan - you spend most of the time, most days, sitting about doing nothing. In a tent more often than not.

    This will be IMPOSSIBLE in Qatar.

    If people try to live like that, they will die.

    So it's nothing to do with prejudice.

    It's about illness and death.





  • Comment number 65.

    does anyone actually still care about the world cup? hardly a spectacle anymore and as much about making old men who have little football experience rich than it is football. dont get me wrong i'll still have a gander at some games and marvel at how amazingly beautiful the opening ceremony will be with all the colours of the rainbow trying to give us a cultural understanding of qatar. woopeee!! flock sheep......go flock to the middle east my pretty's. haha fools

  • Comment number 66.

    Call me cynical, but one does wonder just how long ago Qatar knew they were going to be hosting the World Cup. I mean perhaps the sudden reason to decide the hosts of an event 12 years in the future was perhaps motivated by the knowledge that it would take at least 12 years for that country to be ready.

    The whole thing is a farce. I live in the UAE, I have no issue with Qatar and the negativity surrounding their bid is not anti-Qatar or subtle racism. There is no logical reason for a nation as small, and with so little presence or heritage in the sport to host the biggest sporting event in the world. The only reason the tournament will work is through the process of throwing so much money at it that it can't possibly fail. I really fail to see the long term benefits for Qatar - It will never be some huge tourist destination and the vast majority of the infrastructure (stadiums, hotels etc) will just get demolished after the tournament anyway.

    So, yes they have spent a hell of a lot more than $43 Million, and probably more than $100 Million. Does it really matter? No.

  • Comment number 67.

    I'm actually going to disagree with a lot of posters and say how much I am looking forward to the World Cups in Russia and Qatar, countries that have never hosted it before and will hopefully embrace it in the same way South Korea did when it was hosted there with all the isolationist arguments prior to the tournament proving totally unfounded.

    In 2002 I, like millions of others in Britain, got up and watched football at 7:30am in the morning UK time because football fans, unlike television executives or deadline focusing journalists, don't care about the best time to show games. Part of the glory of football is that no matter what time it is there will be football matches being played around the globe from freezing cold scandinavian pitches in the winter to the heat of the deserts in the summer. Football is a world game and the World Cup should go around the globe and not be monopolised by the traditional footballing powerhouses. I applaud FIFA for taking the World Cup to Africa, Asia, the USA and now new areas like Russia and Qatar. A lot of people will now visit these areas who would never have gone there before and hopefully it will dispell stereotypes and help people realise we all have so much in common. My hope is they take future world cups to Australia, the "West Indies" (Caribbean) and China.

    Those criticising FIFA for corruption would do well to remember that the big selling point of the English bid was to deliver the most profitable world cup ever. We then go out in the first round of bidding and then accuse FIFA of being corrupt and only interested in money.

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    For those complaining about the heat, doyou consider other players and fans who have to also leave the comfort of theri home countries to attend games in freezing cold and high altitude regions which theyare not used to?

    ===

    You can always put extra layers on, you can't take off layers to cope with 50 degree weather! Pretty simple to get your head round

    Besides, how often are World cups played in freezing temperatures??

    Footballers play in cold weather all the time, none of them play in 50 degree weather, even qatar locals can't run around in their summer time!

  • Comment number 70.

    The World Cup is a shadow of its former self with the dull football by numbers we see nowadays. Everyone plays the same style with a ‘don’t lose’ approach. And the mystery of it all has gone now as we see all the top players week in week out in the Champions League or in foreign league games shown on the various satellite channels. So I don’t really care where it is as it’s rubbish now anyway.

    However, holding it in Qatar is absolutely nuts! I reckon they’ll bid for the Winter Olympics next with the promise of an indoor mountain for downhill skiing!!

  • Comment number 71.

    When you consider England cannot attempt to host the tournament again until 2030, you start to realise the ultimate problem. There are too many footballing corners of the World to squeeze into 4 year slots.

    How can we deny that Australia are worthy hosts of the tournament? What about Uruguay, if they can save enough money? Italy last hosted in 1990.. seems recent to me, but hang about, by the time we get to Qatar 2022, that's 32 years ago. That's 32 season's of Serie A football. A ridiculous amount of time..! What about Argentina? Mexico? Spain? Netherlands? The USA and France would soon be cropping up again too after 94 and 98.

    It's an impossible task for FIFA to please everyone. All the bidders for 2018 and 2022 were worthy in their own way. The problem was, only 2 could be chosen.

    The World Cup needs to be staged every 2 years. That should be Sepp Blatter's parting gift. Whether or not he should also allow a joint Great Britian bid to host the first one... I can dream. I'd love to see a World Cup with all 4 home nations invovled.

  • Comment number 72.

    I am an Englishman been living in Qatar for 2 years. It's time to stop moaning about this now. 99% of the British public and media know nothing about Qatar. To suggest it is not developed yet is ludicrous - in many ways it is much more developed. They will undoubtedly put out an amazing tournament, not just because they have a far bigger budget to dispose on such an event than the UK has, but because the Arabic culture is fantastic at being the host. The people of Qatar want the rest of the world to enjoy a tournament and the guests will be held in high regard. Contrast that with England, which wants the tournament because it thinks it will have a better chance of winning and so that people don't have to travel.

    Qatar is also an opportunity for the people of the region to be a part of things. Egypt, for example, certainly has more football fans than the UK does, and there are plenty more in Syria, Jordan, the Lebanon, Oman, Saudi, Iran, UAE etc.

    I think this niggles so much because Asia and the Middle East are overtaking Europe and North America as the more powerful regions, countries which didn't suffer in the recession and which have stronger economies. There's a lot of sour grapes about, but people need to remember that the English bid was not dtrong enough, probably because it was too arrogant and thought it deserved it without having to earn it. Tough. Get on with it.

  • Comment number 73.

    Ignoring how Qatar acquired the WC2022

    Good article in the paper the other day stating that this will be the ultimate corporate hospitality event and that all but a few hardy 'normal' fans from outside the UAE will be priced out and deterred by the climate and logisitics.

    If Qatar can provide for these people it can still be a success but what is a 'success' to FIFA is another failure to others...

  • Comment number 74.

    Al, think you're right to suggest that not too many people in England have an in depth knowledge of Qatar but are going by hearsay. How do you find the heat when playing football for 90 minutes and how do you think they'll get around this if it is seen as a problem?

    My main concern is how fans will find the heat when generally out and about as from what I've read it can be pretty unbearable? I also find it a bit strange that FIFA granted the world cup to a country where homosexuality is illegal but it has done so in the past so it may help to influence internal policy.

    In regards to the English bid not being strong enough; it was seen as strong and I believe that Blatter himself said something along those lines, however the English bid did not go against Qatar's.

  • Comment number 75.

    Al - "i think this niggles because...." you don't need to guess when everyone is saying you can't play football in 50 degree heat, you can't even walk around in it. I suppose you'll jump back and say you regularly play football, squash, and all other sports at noon on the outdoor courts in Qatar

  • Comment number 76.

    Having lived in Qatar I can honestly say there is now way you can play Football during June & July there. Be prepared to see several players suffering heat strokes.
    Forget the fact that they have no stadiums, no public transport, nothing apart from 5 star hotels for visitors, no booze, that all may change but there is no way they can air condition the stadiums, training pitches and what about the fans? Are they supposed to stay indoors all the time?

    They organised Asia Cup Football tournament in January this year and during the final, close to 10,000 fans were denied entry even though they were holding valid tickets. That's their level of competence while organising something. It will be a disaster.

  • Comment number 77.

    David I agree with #36 Kentbee

    Unless something remarkable happens in the Wc's in Brazil (2014) and Russia (2018), by the time the WC comes around to Qatar in 2022, it will be playing 'second fiddle' to the European International Competition and indeed the European Champions league and not only in terms of multi-national interest, but as much as anything because the existing WC format of a month's long tournament is now on the wane. You have to go back to the WC's in the 70's and 80's to find any of the group stages where more than 50% of these games were actually worth watching.
    Boredom is now ther biggest threat to WC competitons, because the early games are (for the most part) a farce. The Cup of African Nations, the South American (Copa) and the European National Tournament, etc all offer more realistic and therefore more entertaining football.

  • Comment number 78.

    Forget the heat, unwelcoming laws, corruption, human rights record and total lack of legacy, because all the stadia will be domed and the little people are of no concern to anyone important (see Bejing Olympics).

    The big glaring issue is that the country is smaller in area and population than Northern Ireland. To match the 2010 attendance figures, each person in Qatar would need to attend 2 games each. Assuming 300,000 people go to Qatar for the tournament, the population will rise by 17%. To think this is a good idea is mind boggling.

    If they wanted an Arab world cup in order to sell football to the Asian market, why not Saudi Arabia or the UAE or further east in India? You know, countries with more people living there than the county of Hampshire.

  • Comment number 79.

    69.
    At 11:18 13th Jul 2011, Kapnag wrote:

    You can always put extra layers on, you can't take off layers to cope with 50 degree weather! Pretty simple to get your head round

    Footballers play in cold weather all the time, none of them play in 50 degree weather, even qatar locals can't run around in their summer time!

    >>>>>>>>>>>

    Have you considered how the players who come from temperate countries like the fact that they have to wear layers upon layers to play. Do you remember the neck warmer the likes of Tevez & Nasri had to wear and they got a lot of stick from the english press and players? Have games not been played in England and other countries when snow is falling, on partially/frozen pitches, and below freezing temperatures?

    Well its about time players from colder regions experience playing in uncomfortable temperatures (hot/humid) so we can see how they cope. Scandinavian & Russian nations like to hold games in colder times in euorpe as its to their advantage. Let the others who play in the heat also have some advantage, even if its only once in a dozen years. Players should show their mettle, as fans will always follow rain, sunshine, snow or altitude. You can watch it on the telly if you disagree with the venue, but be rest assured others will go.
    Not every country has the same weather, fact. This is the make up of our world. We aspire to be a global village, by respect for one another. One side cannot always have the advantage. The WC in Russia will be a chilly one, and that of Qatar will be a hot one. All nations will have to adapt, some will be better than others. The European cup or CL finals hosted in Spain will be sunny, that hosted in UK will be rainy, and that hosted in Scandinavia will be chilly, so what is wrong with the WC hosted in the Middle East/North Africa which will be hot. Do not discriminate, this is the football message Sepp Blater has championed, which is an excellent message

  • Comment number 80.

    Considering the horendous climatic conditions as well as the risk of loss of liberty for failing to comply to particular laws of the land, I suspect many nations won't want to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. Firstly, even if all the stadiums will be air conditioned, as David pointed out in his documentary, "they can't air condition the whole country". Secondly, the vast majority of European footballing nations have a following that enjoy a celebratory bevvy or two before and after a match. Due to its strict alcohol laws, opting to go without would minimise any party atmosphere in Qatar.

    This ludicrous decision should effectively result in a vote of no confidence by a majority of FIFA representatives and instead of the continued acceptance of a corrupt governing football body, consistently cashing in on financial gain, we should all rally to rip it up and start again.

  • Comment number 81.

    I think we should give Qatar a chance without any criticism 11 years in advance. 11 years is a long time and who knows what the economic situation would be. But I think Qatar has the resources to host a successful and comfortable World Cup. And unless the world is hit by another recession, I don't see any reason why there would be any problems. And there is no harm in spending money to improve one's own case. Would there been any outcry had the US or UK spent so much on the bid? I seriously doubt that. As for the weather, don't people realise the speed with which technology is developing, Qatar, with its available resources can cater for indoor air conditioned stadiums?

  • Comment number 82.

    Have you considered how the players who come from temperate countries like the fact that they have to wear layers upon layers to play. Do you remember the neck warmer the likes of Tevez & Nasri had to wear and they got a lot of stick from the english press and players? Have games not been played in England and other countries when snow is falling, on partially/frozen pitches, and below freezing temperatures?

    ==


    haha, my goodness! Firstly, I've asked when are world cups played in Arctic conditions? secondly, you can't even walk around in 50 degree heat, let alone play football on it.

    If players want to heat up, they run around! They don't seem to have problems playing in English winters, being as there are loads playing in the premiership. June is summer time in Europe

    Such a comical argument!

  • Comment number 83.

    I never Understand, why last 2 out of 3 and next 2 out of 3 world cups are held only those countries where whole infrastructure needed to be built? Does construction companies have any role in allocating these world cups to host nations??

  • Comment number 84.

    The two most important points for deciding a World Cup venue are (a) is it where the players want to go? and (b) is it where the fans want to go? The people playing the games and the people paying money to go to watch them. For the many reasons expressed above, Qatar was a dreadful choice, and playing the WC in a tiny oil-rich city-state leaves almost nothing in the way of a legacy.

    I couldn't agree more with #77 wellinever223. We can take the WC to Qatar, and yet in many ways it still observes the values of 1930. Does the WC even have to be in a single country any more? Travel between venues was an issue in the past, but if the WC can be held in immense countries like Russia and the USA, then why not have WCs in whole countries. Have a European WC, with games played from Lisbon to Istanbul. A South American one with games in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Sao Paolo and Bogota... That way everybody gets to benefit. Smaller and poorer countries that could never host a 32 team tournament could still host a few games, and all the established football countries would get the chance to have World Cups more than once every 100 years.

  • Comment number 85.

    @79 - Moscow in July can be unbearable. Not quite as hot as Doha but toasty nonetheless.

    I'll tell you what's wrong though... You cannot play football for 90 minutes in 48 degrees. Trying to compare this with a bit of mild rain and cold in the UK is laughable. The reason Russia takes a break in the middle of the winter and why Sweden play their football league in the summer is not for natural aesthetics, its to avoid the extremes in weather that make playing football impossible.

    Its got nothing to do with discrimination, its got everything to do with commonsense, a concept that is completely lost at Fifa and within your meaningless post.

    How about we start respecting the laws of science instead? Unless you think heatstroke is jingoistic.

  • Comment number 86.

    an absolute tragedy is the fact that most of the UK suppliers for this bid, inc the poor guy who had and supplied the cutting edge, green a/c technology, have not apparently been paid, causing a few UK businesses to go out of business, being owed millions. This whole bid has been a travesty - and hopefully the tournament will reflect this in time.

  • Comment number 87.

    Oh dear. Why can't people just get excited about this? I'm English, and yes, was disappointed about not getting the world cup. But come on, it's called the WORLD cup. Football belongs to the world and if we're trying to make this a world game then surely this is a good thing? With the exception of South Korea world cup, it's only ever been played in the west. Plus, have you seen the stadiums they're planning?
    I'm gonna start saving now. The opportunity to go to the middle east, watch the best players in the world play in some of the worlds most spectacular stadiums will be unforgettable.
    They have the money, the investment in their Universities (UCL, some of the major American Uni's have invested in the UAE) to produce some amazing feats of engineering can only be good for the world. Plus, FIFA can press the issue of human rights etc..
    Only good can come of this. Stop complaining and get ready to see the best show on earth.

  • Comment number 88.

    It remains and decision if nothing else than because the bid was not one of the stronger ones as assessed by FIFA delegates themselves.

    On comments regarding how we play in cold conditions and snow so why not hot I can tell you having played plenty in those and then lived in the UAE that when above 45 degress walking half a mile outside is a struggle and they are in no way comparable. Rugby games get split into quarters from around March/April time and playing touch on a summer evening is incredibly painful.

    That said I'm pretty sure Qatar will do a decent enough job although they'll leave it late because everything tends to be run by committee in the middle east. To be honest I'm more concerned by how Brazil will go than Russia or Qatar as its a very dangerous country in many ways as the attempted hijacking of cars at last year Grand Prix shows and in addition to that none of the infrastructure/stadium is in place yet and its 3 years away!

  • Comment number 89.

    82.
    At 12:27 13th Jul 2011, Kapnag wrote:

    Have you considered how the players who come from temperate countries like the fact that they have to wear layers upon layers to play. Do you remember the neck warmer the likes of Tevez & Nasri had to wear and they got a lot of stick from the english press and players? Have games not been played in England and other countries when snow is falling, on partially/frozen pitches, and below freezing temperatures?

    ==


    haha, my goodness! Firstly, I've asked when are world cups played in Arctic conditions? secondly, you can't even walk around in 50 degree heat, let alone play football on it.

    If players want to heat up, they run around! They don't seem to have problems playing in English winters, being as there are loads playing in the premiership. June is summer time in Europe

    Such a comical argument!

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Kapnag, football is not only played in England, fyi, it is also played in the likes of Scotland, Wales amongst other 200+ countries which all have different weather fronts at different times of the year

    You've asked about WC being played in Arctic conditions, lets see what the temperatures will be like when its hosted in Russia shall we?. And please dont speak like you've ever experienced 50deg heat cos you dont come across like you know much about weather patterns outside England. Humidity is much more dangerous than heat itself if you may want to know. If the temperature is high and there is a blowing wind its way much comfortable than having lower temperatures with high humidity levels. Do you remember USA 94 (oh i forgot England did not qualify) the heat in Dallas? Guess what, the games went on, so even developed nations have similar problems
    Also, guess what again, i'm sure the Qatari officials have enough funds to provide drinking water for the players and to build swimming pools for players to cool off after practice sessions and games

    Bring it on Qatar, there will always be haters, but football will surely reign supreme. Some teams will always adopt more than others, and we will get a winner.

  • Comment number 90.

    Just regarding FIFA in general and the people who hold the power within it they all seem to operate like particularly shady politicians, power hungry above any commitment to the game their governance is supposed to support. It's a great shame when I think that there are many great former players, coaches & managers - I'm thinking of the likes of Cruyf, Charlton, Pele, Del Bosque, Beckenbauer, &c. - elder statesmen with continued love and passion for the game who all carry themselves with a lot of dignity, what different place FIFA might be if run by people like them?

  • Comment number 91.

    bdyke04 wrote: You've asked about WC being played in Arctic conditions, lets see what the temperatures will be like when its hosted in Russia shall we?

    Sorry but you lose a bit of credibility with statements like this.

  • Comment number 92.

    Bdyke04; you're a clown.

  • Comment number 93.

    the most environmentally unfriendly world cup of all time. . .
    the only way to reduce the carbon footprint would be a boycott . . .
    that alone is a good reason to think again and move the matches somewhere more sensible!

  • Comment number 94.

    Bdyke04:
    "You've asked about WC being played in Arctic conditions, lets see what the temperatures will be like when its hosted in Russia shall we?....cos you dont come across like you know much about weather patterns outside England..."

    --------------

    Oh dear... what a fail.

  • Comment number 95.

    Kapnag, football is not only played in England, fyi, it is also played in the likes of Scotland, Wales amongst other 200+ countries which all have different weather fronts at different times of the year

    ==

    Is it??? I never knew. Where are these far off lands called Scotland and Wales, what are the local climates like compared to England?

    I don't come across as someone who knows about weather outside England? At least I know Russia in June is summer.

    As for dallas, they average 37 degrees in summer, and that was considered on the brink for football. BIG difference between 37 and 50 degrees!

    As for your solution, to build swimming pools so they can cool off afterwards, hahahaha! So many things that are silly about that suggestion. Funds to provide drinking water? You've thought of everything - you are clearly experienced in what it takes to push sportsmen to the limit in 50 degree weather

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 97.

    Kapnag you've got the pools all wrong. They're there to store all the dead bodies in that died from heat stroke.

    I can just imagine bdyke04 watching the Russian World Cup and screaming at the TV "WHERE'S THE SNOW!?!?!?!"

  • Comment number 98.

    One thing to say - if the jokers who ran the Asian Cup in Doha earlier this year are in any way involved in 2022, then Qatar really does have something to worry about.
    Without the input of experienced, skilled expat event specialists, the tournament could well have made Qatar a laughing stock just weeks after their finest hour.
    Without the right leadership, even that element might not be enough to save 2022. The dismal management of the debacle surrounding the Final told you all you need to know about the calibre of the people currently in charge of football in Qatar.
    If those guys are still in charge, never mind the heat - expect Fred Karno's Circus!

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    72.
    At 11:34 13th Jul 2011, Al wrote:


    I am an Englishman been living in Qatar for 2 years. It's time to stop moaning about this now. 99% of the British public and media know nothing about Qatar. To suggest it is not developed yet is ludicrous - in many ways it is much more developed. They will undoubtedly put out an amazing tournament, not just because they have a far bigger budget to dispose on such an event than the UK has, but because the Arabic culture is fantastic at being the host. The people of Qatar want the rest of the world to enjoy a tournament and the guests will be held in high regard. Contrast that with England, which wants the tournament because it thinks it will have a better chance of winning and so that people don't have to travel.

    Qatar is also an opportunity for the people of the region to be a part of things. Egypt, for example, certainly has more football fans than the UK does, and there are plenty more in Syria, Jordan, the Lebanon, Oman, Saudi, Iran, UAE etc.

    I think this niggles so much because Asia and the Middle East are overtaking Europe and North America as the more powerful regions, countries which didn't suffer in the recession and which have stronger economies. There's a lot of sour grapes about, but people need to remember that the English bid was not dtrong enough, probably because it was too arrogant and thought it deserved it without having to earn it. Tough. Get on with it.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What's wrong with England football fans wishing the World Cup tournament to take place in England?

    England has hosted the tournament once in the eighty years that it has existed. It has the perfect infrastructure and climate to do so, so it seems ludicrous that it is ignored.

    Any why is this all about money and so-called country development? Call me old-fashioned, but I thought it was all about the football.

    Then people say we want it because it gives us a better chance of winning it. There's no evidence that hosting the tournament ensures you win. England did not win Euro 96. You need to have a good team first and foremost to win a tournament. I can tell you right now - Qatar won't be winning 2022 as the host team, I don't care what takes place in youth development over the next 10 years (or hiring mercenaries most likely)

    Anyway, it's irrelevant what a country has spent on their bid. I couldn't care less what Qatar spent, or what they spent it on. To hold this tournament in their summer, with games kicking off during the day, is utter insanity. It will harm the health of both players and fans. You cannot play football in this degree of heat. It's as simple as that. The quality of the football will suffer, as well as those foolish enough to attend- although I am certain that kick off times will have to be regulated and maybe the tournament itself will be moved to the winter. It's madness and the only ones who will be happy will be FIFA and rich Arabs. This isn't taking the World Cup to new countries and to the developing world. This is killing the tournament and international football itself, and it is sad.

 

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