Quick, name everything you know about Qatar.
Here's some unbiased, vital information about Qatar: it is located on the Arabian Peninsula of the Middle East. It is predominately Muslim. Its population is around 1.7 million.
Now, here are some extremely biased reasons why it is possibly the worst choice as FIFA World Cup 2022 host: Its summers can break 122 degrees. Its national team has never even qualified for the World Cup and is currently ranked 113th in FIFA polls. Strict Islamic policies prohibit rowdiness and drinking alcohol in public.
There's the argument that bringing the World Cup to Qatar will encourage growth in the nation's soccer programs and spark interest amongst its citizens. So, maybe we can discount reason number two. However, the other two reasons still ring true, and the decision to bring World Cup 2022 to Qatar is a poor one for players, citizens and fans alike.
First, players will be negatively impacted by the heat conditions. Currently, there is talk about building five brand new stadiums that will incorporate some kind of air cooling technology to make playing conditions safer. Here's a thought: why not just host the Cup some place where temperatures are, say, a modest 80 or 90 degrees? Plus, it is rumored that if the stadiums idea falls through, Qatar may have to host the World Cup in … January?!? Not only would this be against custom, but many major soccer leagues are in the heart of their seasons in January. Teams will undoubtedly be upset if they have to remove their best players mid-season to send them off to the Cup.
Players aside, the decision is inconsiderate to the people of Qatar. Many locals have been in an uproar about the decision, knowing the Cup will bring in countless partygoers. In a recent Huffington Post article, Ijaz Ahmad, the British head of Islamic culture at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs' Fanar Center, suggested a solution for disgruntled citizens: "As a choice, they could go [to Mecca]… or they can go on holiday to London." So, let's host the Cup in Qatar and then kick all the Qataris out?!
Finally, Qatar would make a horrible destination for fans. They too will suffer the severe weather, and likely more so than players as they will not be treated to upscale lodging arrangements. Fans will also face a great adjustment to stark cultural differences. According to worldcupbuzz.com, some illegalities of Qatar include drinking in public, acting discourteously, women revealing their shoulders and any public displays of affection. That means no kissing your sweetheart after your team scores, and women, make sure to dress in layers in that 120 degree heat. But above all, drinking and acting rowdy are central to soccer fandom, especially at the Cup. The passionate chants and antics from fans make the sport fun, and taking that away would greatly diminish the game's appeal.
For now, there's not much we can do but take a collective sigh, raise our drinks while we still can, and hope for 2026.