The closer we get to the 2022 FIFA World Cup draws, the more Qatar is moving away from the dream of hosting it. Despite Qatari official assurances of this hosting, things are starting to go in a quite another direction, and there have been many developments and changes that have greatly weakened the chances of Doha’s hosting of this important international sporting event. Indeed, some experts and observers confirm that Qatar’s bid to host the World Cup in 2022 has really gone unheeded.

While Qatar’s leaders are proud to win hosting the 2022 World Cup, experts’ opinion, studies and reports on Qatar’s hosting this World sport event came so disappointing to Doha’s hopes and dreams and in contrast to the aspirations of its leaders. These results confirm that Qatar’s demographic and geographical area is never reassuring for such a global event and Doha will not be able to receive such a huge number of people who will be there during this tournament without having crises and perhaps disasters. More importantly, Qatar’s infrastructure is unfit for the FIFA World Cup at all as it is still incomplete and Qatar will even not be able to complete it for many reasons, most notably financial distress and economic crises following the boycott.

Qatar’s frequent violations to win the hosting of the World Cup in 2022 are also a strong obstacle between Doha’s dreams and the hosting of the World Cup. Qatar has been accused several times, with proven evidence and statements by senior FIFA officials, of bribery during the vote and that it paid large sums of money and concluded suspicious deals with officials of the International Football Association, in order to win the hosting rights of the next World Cup.

Qatar has also been accused of defaming other countries that have bid to host the 2022 World Cup, as FIFA’s former president, Sepp Blatter, recently tweeted: “Bad news: Qatar accused of denigration of other bidders! Fact is Qatar won after a political intervention by the former French President Sarkozy to FIFA Vice-President Platini.” Blatter has had announced last November that the former French president has exerted pressure, so Qatar can win the right of hosting World Cup 2022.

On the political side, the Qatari regime’s behavior on the regional and global level has also placed the subject of Qatar’s hosting the World Cup on the list of FIFA topics to be reviewed. Qatar’s support for terrorism and the regime’s insistence on its subversive policies have led to the isolation of Qatar because of the Arab quartet boycott of Doha, which has led Qatar to embrace Iran completely until it became a hotbed of Iranian intelligence and a center for planning and plotting terrorist activities. This may increase the likelihood that Iran will plan terrorist operations targeting some Western sides during their presence in Qatar to participate in the 2022 World Cup!

The presence of a number of leaders of terrorist groups, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, in Doha and the connections between the Qatari regime with the terrorist groups in the region, including Hezbollah, the Houthis, ISIS and the sectarian militias in Iraq, pose concern to many international organizations about the hosting of this event by Qatar, and the likelihood that such groups would carry out terrorist attacks while foreign delegations are present on Qatari territory.

To emphasize Qatar’s inability to host the next World Cup, and based on the previous reasons, FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressed the international community’s concern about the issue and officially announced that he would decide next March whether Qatar would host the World Cup alone or there will be other countries to share it with. In an interview with France’s Telefoot program, Infantino said the idea of having 48 teams in the tournament is good and should be implemented. It would not be easy for Qatar, Infantino said, to host the World Cup alone because the teams would play for 28 days instead of 31, the normal time for the World Cup, because the tournament will take place in November and December due to the high temperature during the summer months. However, the possibility of having matches in other countries in the region is unlikely in light of the crisis created by Qatar and led to the severing of neighboring countries to its relations with Doha, while it is not possible to hold any match in Iran because of what this country suffering of chaos, internal crises and isolation.

Thus, according to many experts, the FIFA has already begun to reconsider the issue of granting Qatar the right to host the 2022 World Cup, and with the increasing obstacles for Qatar to host such event, Doha’s exacerbating political, economic and financial crises and its increased regional and international isolation, it is expected to withdraw the coming World Cup’s hosting right from Qatar.

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

December 26 , 2018