It will be a major achievement if Qatar’s bid to host football’s 2022 World Cup is successful.
In a country with a population of only 1.6 million, Qatar will be the smallest country to host football’s biggest event by far. Building all of the required facilities and infrastructure for such a large sporting event is an expensive task.
With its large proven oil and gas reserves, Qatar does have the money. Qatar’s GDP in 2008 was $102,302bn, according to IMF data, and it is prepared to spend this money.
Doha promises to build $43bn of infrastructure and 70,000 hotel rooms, in addition to the 12 stadiums, and officials heading up the bid do not see such a large building programme as insurmountable.
But cost is not the only hurdle a country has to pass before it can successfully win the rights to host such a large sporting event.
One of the major obstacles for Qatar hosting major sporting events is the country’s climate. During the summer, when the tournament would be played, the temperature regularly exceeds 40 degrees celsius.
The committee in charge of the Qatar’s 2022 bid point to the new cooling technologies designed for the proposed stadiums as evidence that the high temperatures can be worked around.
However, as of yet this technology is unproven, and as sporting visitors will only spend a small part of their trip actually in the stadiums, the climate may still hamper Qatar’s world cup bid, when it comes to Fifa, football’s governing making body, making a decision.
Another problem that faces Qatar’s bid is its lack of sporting heritage. Qatar has never qualified for the World Cup before, and its national team does not feature any internationally renowned players.
This combination of Doha’s climate and lack of sporting legacy were seen as two decisive factors in the emirates failure to host the 2016 Olympic games.
Qatar’s impressive bid proposal shows that the emirate has the ambition and the money to host a large sporting event. But, the climate and lack of sporting history mean that Qatar’s world cup bid may be destined to remain a dream.