Competitions / Economy / Legacy / Nations

World Cup Watching

Qatar

Professor Simon Chadwick

Posted: May 22, 2018

A SHORT GUIDE TO FOLLOWING – QATAR

WHAT IT IS

Qatar is: the host nation for the next World Cup in 2022. The country won the rights to host the tournament in 2010, following a controversial bidding process. Since then, the country has constantly been in the spotlight, initially given misdemeanours inside FIFA, then because of domestic labour market issues, and latterly due to a regional political feud with neighbours including Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup has arguably been one of the most contentious hosting decisions in the history of football. Though, while critics continue to condemn the country in several ways, Qatar is seeking to utilise the tournament as a basis for national development and international profile building. This summer, Qatar will be a hot topic: 1) because World Cup hosting rights will pass to Qatar once this summer’s tournament concludes; and 2) because Qatar has consistently sought to play the game of football politics and soft power, not least in the context of regional political challenges it now faces.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

Although this summer’s World Cup is being staged in Russia, the prospect of what is to come in Qatar will surely be ever-present in the background. Already, there have been innumerable issues around the Gulf state’s successful bid to stage the 2022 tournament. However, with discussions about labour market change, a regional feud, discussions about competition design, and a schedule change all still ongoing, one suspects that the prospect of a very different competition in four years time will sustain summer-long discussions. We should look out for a Qatari presence in Russia, and for a rapid switch in attention to the Gulf region, once the Russian tournament concludes.

SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK

How will Qatar be seeking to utilise this summer’s World Cup, both during and after, as a springboard to its own hosting of the tournament?

How will the nature of the 2022 tournament be shaped by the geopolitical challenges the country currently (and is likely to continue) facing?

To what extent will the end of the World Cup in Russia put Qatar under even more intense scrutiny?

SOMETHING TO READ

Gulf crisis fuels Qatar national pride in PSG http://worldsoccertalk.com/2018/04/27/gulf-crisis-fuels-qatar-national-pride-in-psg/

Qatar’s diplomatic hedging: A World Cup insurance policy http://www.ejinsight.com/20180403-qatar-s-diplomatic-hedging-a-world-cup-insurance-policy/

Qatar discord threatens World Cup https://www.policyforum.net/qatar-discord-threatens-world-cup/

SOMETHING TO WATCH

Qatar hits back at attempt to take 2022 World Cup away by blaming concerns on ‘petty jealousy’ https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/qatar-hits-back-at-attempt-by-diplomatic-rivals-to-take-2022-world-cup-away-a7994661.html

Why Fifa’s 48-team plan for the 2022 World Cup is bad news for Qatar https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/world-cup-2022-qatar-48-teams-fifa-bad-news-saudi-arabia-kuwait-iran-a8303706.html

 

 

 

About Professor Simon Chadwick

Simon is Professor of Sports Enterprise at Salford University in Manchester (UK), where he is also a Co-Director of the Centre for Sports Business. He is also a Founding Co-Director of the China Soccer Observatory and a Senior Fellow of the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham (UK). He has worked in football across the world, for various organisations including companies, federations, and governments. He tweets via @Prof_Chadwick