Qatar World Cup 2022: 5 Reasons to Believe It Will Be a Huge Success
It is fair to say there have been one or two reservations voiced around the world of football since it was announced that Qatar would be hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but looking at the big picture, there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic that we will enjoy a terrific experience.
Questions rumble on about various issues, including the thorny matter over whether it will be a winter or, as usual, a summer event, but there is much more to a World Cup than merely the weather and associated conditions.
Here are five reasons to believe that the 2022 version of the event will satisfy, surpass expectations and eventually be heralded as an overall great success.
Fantastic, Purpose-Built Stadiums
One very definite element of the 2022 World Cup to look forward to will be the stadiums.
Qatar has pledged that 12 state-of-the-art stadiums will be in use for the World Cup, with the first of the new, fully air-conditioned arenas due to be ready by around 2015. Expansive, and no doubt expensive, plans and designs have been laid bare for inspection, and visually at least, they are an extraordinary sight to behold.
If they are as effective in dealing with cooling the summer temperatures as they are in getting fans excited at the mere appearance of them, then Qatar can certainly put a big check mark next to stadiums on their to-do list.
To avoid leaving a host of unused, unfilled stadiums behind after the World Cup ends, it is estimated that around 170,000 modular seats will be removed post-tournament and sent to developing countries.
No Expense Will Be Spared
If Qatar is known for anything over the past decade or so, it is opulence and extravagance.
Phenomenal buildings, such as hotels and offices set alongside buildings of worship and more permanent residence, offer an ephemeral mix of the traditional and the staggeringly, audaciously new. It is a modernised part of the world built to shock, to impress, to entice.
With the entire football world watching on, there is no doubt that the powers-that-be in Qatar will be going all-out to provide the very best services and facilities available, as well as super-modern technologies to help regulate temperatures which have caused concern—summers can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius in the region.
Already, talk has begun of creating artificial clouds as one possible cooling method, at a very cool cost of around half a million U.S. dollars each.
The stadiums will also have the very latest and best technology, but the surrounding areas, the transport links, the accommodation, the capability of dealing with the sudden arrival of millions of football fanatics looking for a part atmosphere—all of that comes with massive expense.
And no expense will be spared, for the world will indeed be looking on.
A Nation Desperate to Show the Football World They Deserved to Be Hosts
Fair to say, Qatar was far from the general favourite to host the World Cup when bidding began, and not everybody was impressed when they were announced as the winning bid.
The nation themselves, of course, have full confidence in their ability to deliver a wonderful tournament and will be putting everything into it to ensure that they come out with credibility, respect and a rightful place amongst other nations to have successfully hosted the FIFA World Cup.
As per a BBC report in 2011:
Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary-general of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, is looking to provide a World Cup memorable for all the right reasons. He said that since Fifa had awarded it the tournament, the emirate had faced an "avalanche of accusations and allegations" relating to claims it had bribed its way to securing the World Cup.
Mr al-Thawadi said Qatar had in fact conducted its bid campaign "to the highest ethical and moral standards". "We can deliver... and fulfil the promises we made to the world," Mr al-Thawadi told delegates at the Leaders in Football conference in London.
There are not only financial and construction considerations to be taken, but also those of a cultural aspect and ones which are affected by law. Qatar must be, and do seem to be, aware of the need to entertain more fans for a month than the entire population count of their own country.
Qatar currently has a population of less than two million people, while more than three million fans were present in stadiums for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. And that doesn't even begin to account for the number who travel for the atmosphere, to follow their team, but don't actually make it into the ground for matches.
The report further states:
There is significant investment in tourism in Qatar, museums and entertainment sites, and a service industry dedicated towards fans," he says. "We have always said alcohol would be available. It might not be as available as it is in London, but any fan that wants to enjoy a drink can do so."
He said the Qatar public would also be prepared for the influx of fans and, for example, their different dress sense. In addition, he said Qatar was host to many different communities, including English people, and was "used to being hospitable". He added: "We have hosted major events over the years" - including the 2006 Asian Games.
There is much work to do before 2022 rolls around, but Qatar appear well in control of the situation and will be absolutely desperate to ensure they get it right, to prove in turn that FIFA got it right, in choosing Qatar as the 2022 World Cup hosts.
(Re-)Emerging Nations Who Will Have Had a Decade to Improve
Right now, nations are focusing on qualification for the FIFA World Cup which will take place in Brazil next year, in 2014.
Plenty of the usual suspects—Italy, Holland, Spain, Argentina, etc—will be present and correct, but there are a number of ever-growing football nations who will also hope to have an impact. Belgium's talented group of players looks set to see the country again have a huge impact on the international scene over the next few years, while Colombia also look set to finally return to the big stage after an overly lengthy absence.
It's not just the traditional nations, though, who we should be watching out for.
Qualifying for the 2014 tournament has offered some fascinating glimpses into the future for those who care to look properly.
In Europe, Montenegro lead their qualification group despite being in only their second ever qualification campaign as a sole nation following the split from Serbia, and despite having a total national population of only around 600,000.
There is also Venezuela in South America, right on the cusp of qualification as things stand, looking for a maiden appearance at the World Cup finals. Over in North/Central America, Panama lead the "Hexagonal" at the halfway stage, just three matches from a first ever appearance at the finals themselves.
And what about Uzbekistan?
The Asian nation have never qualified for a World Cup finals (since splitting from the former Soviet Union) but now lead their AFC qualifying group. As a nation with an explosively increasing population, up to 30 million now from just eight million 50 years ago, and with major footballing investment in the country, this is potentially one of the new biggest superpowers in the Asian region of the sport.
If they qualify for the 2014 finals, it could only be the start of something amazing and impressive.
They all have another decade before them to continue to grow as footballing nations and teams, and to bring a very real, new and interesting element to the stage of the World Cup. A decade from now, all these teams and more could be seen as major players, with Qatar the stage in 2022 to showcase their talents to the world.
The World Cup as a Spectacle Has Improved Each Time
One final reason is almost one of the most simple; there exists an inherent need to impress within the human race, to go one better than the previous.
The last few FIFA World Cups have been nothing short of extraordinary spectacles, encapsulating all that is interesting, good and exciting about 32 nations at a time, bringing fans from the world over together and having them share in extreme highs and devastating lows.
Germany in 2006 was impressive and spectacular, South Africa in 2010 a raw, energetic and noisy cacophony of excitement and belief.
Brazil in 2014 will no doubt add the latest chapter to this uphill chase, while Russia in 2018 will also be hugely entertaining to watch develop even before the tournament itself draws near.
And then to Qatar, where an expectant and demanding fanbase of the world's greatest sport will clamour for a fitting host nation to deliver the goods.
It is going to make for great viewing, right from the planning stage now until implementation in years to come, before the grand finale of the finals in 2022.