Doubts remain over Qatar 2022

10 July 2014

After Brazil 2014 has ended, the focus will return with greater intensity to Qatar and whether it can host the 2022 football tournament

After the World Cup in Brazil has ended, following a largely successful tournament, the eyes of the football world will inevitably fall back onto Qatar.

The selection of the Gulf country to host the 2022 World Cup has become perhaps the most controversial decision in the competition’s 84-year history, eclipsing the choice of Russia for the 2018 competition, which itself raised many eyebrows.

But despite constant criticism from the international media and the threat of losing the right to host the tournament amid an investigation into alleged bribery, Qatar continues to roll out its preparations for the event. There is still much uncertainty, however. Regardless of the corruption investigation, it has yet to be decided whether the competition will be held in the traditional summer months or moved to the winter.

If the tournament is to be held in the summer, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy would require considerable development and investment in cooling technology. But moving the games to the winter months would create havoc in the schedules of domestic leagues in Europe – home to the world’s most-watched football leagues.

Growing media calls for a new 2022 host nation have been exacerbated by several of Fifa’s biggest sponsors expressing concern in June. The sponsors have all demanded a fair investigation into the corruption allegations for fear it may damage their brands.

Qatar has also come under fire from the global media and international human rights associations for the treatment of overseas workers hired to build infrastructure for the World Cup.

While Doha has ample time to prepare the infrastructure for the tournament (which would at least put the Gulf state ahead of Brazil), the Supreme Committee must get a green light from Fifa’s investigators later this month before it can push on with the enormous job of hosting the tournament in 2022.

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