Giving the World Cup to Qatar was a Huge Mistake

FIFA, the organizing body of World Cup soccer, shot the ball into their own net this week by choosing tiny Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup over Australia, Japan, South Korea, and in the final round, the United States.

Qatar sticks out off of Saudi Arabia into the Persian Gulf and is 4,416 square miles of land — that's 1,128 square miles smaller than the state of Connecticut. About 1,696,563 people call Qatar home, which is just a touch more than the population of Phoenix. U.S. national team player Eric Wynalda told the Associated Press that "a successful World Cup would mean the attendance would be twice the population."

The average daily high in Qatar during the summer ranges from 106 to 115, and there's zero chance of any precipitation falling. In the summer, Qatar turns into an oven, a giant sandy furnace in which your only hope for respite is to retreat into heavily air conditioned living spaces. In winning their bid for the 2022 World Cup, the Qatar delegation promised to construct nine new stadiums and to renovate three others at a cost of $4 billion, on top of another $50 billion they're spending to upgrade their infrastructure to handle the anticipated crowds. If past games are any indication, those cost estimates are sure to rise — although if anyone has cash to burn, it's oil-rich Qatar.

In an almost absurd gesture, the delegation promised to dismantle the new stadiums after the games to give to needy countries. These stadiums won't be enclosed domes but rather air-conditioned open-air buildings that generate cooling air from roof-top solar thermal and photovoltaic panels and then pump it onto the pitch and behind all the spectators seating. Qatar officials say their system will get the temperature down to 80°F on the field.

As a result of their country being a blast furnace more than half of the year, Qatar citizens have the highest per-capita CO2 emissions in the world with a total of 55.4 metric tons per person for 2007. For comparison the average U.S. citizen was responsible for about 18.9 metric tons in the same year. Chinese citizens produced about 4.6 metric tons.

Everyone who lands in Qatar for the games will step into a system that requires enormous amounts of fossil fuel. People who want to get around in Qatar drive; they all have air-conditioned living and work spaces, and they drink water that has to be desalinated from ocean water. The country's already huge energy footprint will balloon when the millions of fans fly in.

It's admirable that Qatar wants to harness solar power to cool the stadiums, but that doesn't diminish the reality that the stadiums shouldn't be built in the first place. It doesn't make any sense — unless you own a Qatar construction firm ‚ to spend that much money on one-use, throw away stadiums. The history of big sporting events is littered with the cast-offs of under-utilized sport stadiums, as recently as China's bird nest stadium which was built for the 2008 Beijing Olympics but today sits empty and unused.

If anything, Qatar's pledge to dismantle and distribute the stadiums after the games could be the smartest option available — they won't be saddled with the cost of maintaining them. How in the world is a developing country expected to maintain the costs of running something like this?

Then there are the slaves. Qatari law allows companies to import workers who they more or less own. Workers brought into the country under this system have few rights, no choice over their employer, and can't even leave the country without their company's permission. Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers toil away in Qatar under the insanely hot sun or in punishing conditions in homes, businesses, and factories, for little pay and with few days off. Their living spaces are poor and their prospects for the future bleak.

So to review, FIFA gave the World Cup to a tiny desert nation with the same climate of Death Valley (Death Valley's average July high temperature is only two degrees hotter than Qatar's) and a tiny population of slave-owning energy hogs to host the world's largest sporting event. They chose a country that will spend billions of dollars on magically cooled stadiums that will be boxed up and shipped off to poor countries after the last fan has left town (which sounds more like a threat than a promise).

The World Cup shouldn't be passed around to anyone with a sparkly story and some bribe money to throw around. It should be given to countries with the people, passion, climate and infrastructure to support it. Weather can be a tricky thing; past games in the U.S. and Mexico were played in hot weather, but those were locations where the average temperature didn't start off north of 100.

FIFA made a big mistake, but there's nothing to be done about it now. We'll watch as Qatar races to build its magical stadiums, and then we'll see what hundreds of billions of dollars of oil money can get you as the millions of soccer fans swoop down upon the country.

Comments

Qatar is hell on earth

yep, I'm a Korean and when I arrived in Qatar I've never seen a sad place. The buildings are modern but the Qatari minds are acient that still support slavery. shame on you QATAR. Dubai, Oman, and Kuwait are far more better country than Qatar. disgusting place

Totally rubbish!

Stop pretending that Qatari are very good in making decision. You really need to learn from other countries. They certainly have the top of the range facilities but I'm sorry to say..very bad in managing people.

And do we ensure his safety

And do we ensure his safety by preveting people from attending to the much? sorry but they SUCK!!! stop defending them.

i agree

i totally agree. this world cup will be the worst in the history of football. the way they got it was through bribing everyone and sheikha moza screweing the fifa president.

Rubbish !

I recall the game starting at 6pm according to the tickets. We were there at 5:15...and the dors were closed. There were thousands of people there early. However, of course, if you knew someone the guards and officals would let you in. FIF should have been here to see that despite money, the even was run as a sporting event for the lord of the manor...There needs to be serious improvement to the attitudes of the Qatari leaders...

I can accept many criticisms

I can accept many criticisms about the world cup being attributed to Qatar... I can even see why people object to it but what is not tolerated is claiming that Qatar is not well equipped to host it... The security at the Asian Cup finals were strengthened only because the Emir was attending the match and so precautionary measures were taken to ensure his safety thus all late comers were treated with extreme caution. What is interesting in this post is its one-sided nature and biased opinion as if an argument is to be considered sound you must present both ends of it...
Thank You

It's not criticism

This response is acceptable to Qatar only. This sort of response would not be accepted anywhere else in the developed world. The reaction of fans to being locked out of the game would provide plenty of proof of that. If Qatar is going to host regional and eventually world events it has to step up and provide world class logistical and security needs, while still providing great customer service.

I was locked out of the game. I did not receive any warning that fans had to arrive early. Nothing was broadcast on the radio, in the paper, or elsewhere. Furthermore, when the authorities eventually apologized for the blunder, they promised to refund all ticket holders whom did not get in. This still has not occurred.

The Qatari decision makers, on a local level, are just not sophisticated enough to run these types of events. They just don't get it, as shows during the Asian Cup Final. For Qatar's sake during the World Cup, they either need to hire a really good company to run logistics or Qatari's themselves need to smarten up.

Qataris (not all) know nothing about management

I wonder how they are going to manage such a huge event like World Cup. Even Asian Cup recently showed how terrible this people managed. I was surprised that a lot of Asian Cup fans with TICKETS flying all over the world to see the final in Qatar were not allowed to enter into stadium. In addition, when you opened the local newspaper tomorrow, they told that they're succesfully organized such events. Sucks!!.

wrong country

Giving a sporting event such a FIFA world cup to Qatar was a big mistake.There is no spirit for sports in the country.Saudi Arabia would have been a better country

Qatari Football Sucks!

Yeah! The Football of Qatar Sucks! lacking good players makes them Bribe players from Africa, South America and other Arab Countries to change their Nationality and Play for their Fucking weak National Team!
Fuck any Country that Tries to change the Holy Name of "Persian Gulf", wherever it's placed in the hole World!!!

beatdown

People were beaten trying to get into the Asian cup Final. They were families with tickets. The gates were shut then police/guards kept them back with their batons. One lady had to go to the hospital with a bloody hand. World Cup....lol ...it'll be an all out smackdown!

this is not directly connected to the world cup

But during the last doha Tribeca film festival, they turn a way buses filled with passengers who with TICKETS. I'm in one of those buses. the police dude said that it was to crowded inside. And after we shown our tickets the police put on this retarded face,, it's like they don't know anything about ticket.

and judging from your story, i think Qataris doesn't understand the concept of it...centuries living in the desert really damages their brain i guess>>>

Going to the Asian Football Cup was a big mistake

My family of 7 and I went to the final game in the AFC last night only to be sent back home since these idiots gave away free tickets to all earlier that day. To same idiots who will host the 2022 World Cup, angered thousands of law abiding fans who purchased their ticket many days or weeks before. There were neither officials to talk to nor to tell us what to do. They left the security guards alone to tell the crowd that the stadium is already full. By the time we arrived to the crowded gate by 5:30PM (the kick off at 6), there were thousands of screaming fans with their families waiving their legally purchased tickets. The experience was devastating to my family and others. This lack of responsibility, lack of leadership, lack of humanity (if there is any to begin with), and lack of management by the organizers, is an early warning to the FIFA and all of their fans that these sub-humans are not worthy of hosting the World Cup in 2022.

Seen the celebrations? You'll love this!

3rd of December, 2010 - Just a few hours past midnight and roughly 6 hours since Sepp Blatter (FIFA's president) announced the 2022 World Cup going to Qatar. That took place on the 2nd of December, of course.

So anyway, it was 2 or 3 AM past midnight and I was trying to get some sleep in my flat. Couldn't sleep because of the noise; some people have obviously decided to party late and were apathetic of their neighbors' comfort. Typical stuff you'd normally find in the Gulf Arab states (not going to specify which country it was but it's close to Qatar... very close!).

It was the weekend, therefore I wasn't too upset about not being able to sleep. So I decided to walk out of my flat and discover what all the fuss was about.

Turns out a group of Gulf Arabs were throwing a party over Qatar hosting the World Cup, as well as a few Kuwaiti visitors celebrating their national football team's Gulf Cup semi-final victory over archenemies/rivals, Iraq. At this point I got a little bit aggravated, so I decided to go downstairs and take a walk along the street. It was a good time to get some fresh air, since the weather was relatively cool and it was pretty much quiet.

Anyway, I go down to ground level and exit the apartment building. Just as I crossed the street and began my walk, I see a lady (probably in her late 20s or early 30s) not too far away from me getting out of her car. The car has a Qatari license plate. She was definitely a Qatari lady, since she had her black abaya and hijab on, which is what people around here are accustomed to wearing.

Before she closes her car's door, she removes her abaya and throws it into the backseat. Without exaggerating or making anything up, I was stunned by what she was wearing underneath:

A purple, one-piece, skin-tight/form-fitting lycra-spandex catsuit!
Seen any 1980s aerobics shows with all the spandex unitards?
It was literally shiny and glittering at night, under the street lamps.
Her catsuit was tight all over her body, from the wrist to ankle. The only areas the spandex did not cover were the hands, feet and neck.

She looked like catwoman. And it's not similar to what other women wear. This is the truest definition of a spandex catsuit, since it was one-piece. It had a zipper in the back.

It was purple and she wore a Qatar flag scarf around her neck. Turns out the lady was going to the same party upstairs. Talk about hypocrisy. They'll criticize others for wearing 'indecent' attires, yet they resort to it themselves. Of course, this whole time she had the catsuit on, the lady was respectable enough to not remove her hijab/headscarf. The irony...

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As for the World Cup, I would have preferred it going to England in 2018 and Australia in 2022.

Advice for new workers going to Qatar

I have been approached to supply workers to Qatar.

I have worked in Qatar before in Construction: as a high rise building construction boss and used to look after my workers when they arrived to our construction project. I and the other European bosses never knew what conditions were like for the workers at first but after a while when some trust builds up, you start to get stories and information. I did what I could and looked after some of the men, the ones that I could, and bought food for the men and did some other things so that they were better looked after. In the end I left Qatar. Now I have been contacted, because of good name(?) and asked to provide workers.

I don't know if I will, on one hand it is a chance for people from poorer countries to earn some money if things are not good for them at home, but on the other hand it can be as it is said in these pages a bad/very bad experience. If you risk nothing, you get nothing, that's for sure, so I'm not really looking for comments:
"NOOOO dont go!"
comments but good advice on:
agreeing wages with Qatari Sponsors, What wage salaries I should ask for
Housekeeping Supervisor? Is a General worker Salary QAR 1000, good or bad?
What about accomodation requests?
Clean water, enough food, distances of camp to work....
What guarantees should I ask from Sponsors.
You could be helping a lot of people by your replies.

Namasté and thank you.

Om Prasad's friend :)

1,000 QR is BAD basic salary

1,000 QR is BAD basic salary for a "Housekeeper" and is very bad for a Housekeeping supervisor.
I mean basic minimum salary here should be at least 1,000 to 2,000 QR since the cost of personal necesities here have gone extremely high.

Clean and healthy Accomodation should be provided. 2 person in a small room is healthy, 4 person in a big room is also healthy, but 8 person in a 4x4 room.....well I would call it Illegal piggery!

Filipino food should be provided for filipinos, indian foods should be provided for indians. Most of the contracting companies here provide indian foods to all nationalities coz its cheap that's why some workers deduct some amount from their salaries just to buy food.

food, accomodation

I believe Qatar is one of the hellish place i have ever worked.I feed on Indian food not to mention am an African.We share 4x4 room with six colleagues not to mention the crazy conditions all through the year. i thought coming here was set to unlock new chapters in my life but instead every day is a walking pain.This is a slavery country if you don't have any other option be advised....... stay out.