Qatar’s World Cup Dreams Will Meet COVID-19 Realities
Stratfor Middle East and North Africa Analyst at RANE, Stratfor
MIN READJul 7, 2021 | 17:19 GMT
A man tours one of the soccer stadiums that will be used in the 2022 World Cup in Doha, Qatar.
(Francois Nel/Getty Images)
As it grapples with the long-term impact of COVID-19, Qatar will have to decide whether it’s willing to make a dent in its economic allure by hosting a more subdued World Cup in November 2022. The long-awaited global soccer tournament is meant to be Doha’s big moment to shine by enabling the Arab Gulf country -- which will be the first to host an international event on this scale -- to show off its governance skills, modern infrastructure and tolerant national culture in a high-beam advertisement of the emirate’s economic potential.
The games have been plagued by numerous complications over the years, including accusations of corruption during the bidding process, allegations of the abuse of workers during the building of the infrastructure, and even worries that tourists might not be able to drink alcohol at events, as well as 2017-21 Saudi-Emirati blockade that closed off many regional air, land and sea...