Will the Qatar World Cup be a success?

The Qatar World Cup is around seven months away now and has the potential to be one of the greatest ever experiences from a fans point of view.

However, many believe that this World Cup is a scandal, with the country paying FIFA millions of pounds for this to go ahead. Also, the migrant workers are allegedly suffering every day for the outcome of a football tournament that lasts for a month.

We are going to explore the positives and negatives of this World Cup and how it will eventually pan out.

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The country possesses world class facilities from training centres to stadiums, due to the amount of wealth Qatar has. In 2019, Qatar won the Asia Cup, beating the favourites South Korea and Japan in the final which gave the Qatari nationals faith for the World Cup in four years’ time.

The Qatari team will have their own training facility, Aspire Academy, which cost £4 billion and contains all of the Qatar national teams. The stadiums that have been built are relatively close to each other so fans have the possibility of watching up to three games a day. This is possible by the new Metro that has been put in place which connects each stadium to each other with a maximum 40-minute journey.

Each stadium has a special meaning behind it with many of them resembling something to do with the Qatari religion and culture. The majority of the stadiums have been built from scratch with building work beginning in 2011 for a lot of them.

One of the new structures, Lusail Stadium, cost a staggering £1 billion which when the tournament has ended, will be turned into a college, community centre and clinic. Due to the intense heat in Qatar during the summer, the World Cup will be moved to their winter which will happen for the first time in World Cup history, so the temperatures drop to around 20°C. Despite this, air conditioning is in all stadiums.

Qatar plans to have built 15 to 18 hotels for fans to be in during the World Cup and promise they will have a hotel for every fan’s needs. With this being the first ever Muslim country to hold a World Cup, that gives a wide range of activities to complete while in Qatar. This includes riding Camels across the deserts that cover most of the country, dune-bashing, falconry and also visiting Mosques, experiencing the beliefs of the local people.

Despite the very exciting hopes for this World Cup, there are plenty of downsides that come with it. Alcohol is only set to be sold in certain fan zones and the country does not tolerate misbehaviour which is bound to occur with many people from different countries gathering into the smallest country to ever hold a World Cup.

The country is bottom of the table for LGBT rights and believe that some people will not want gay and other ethnic backgrounds in their country. Qatar is a conservative country which means that they hold certain beliefs that other countries do not have.

In 2017, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Bahrain and Egypt all cut diplomatic ties with Qatar which means that you are unable to fly directly to or from those countries.

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The people who have made the stadiums are called ‘migrant workers.’ 90% of the population are migrant workers and they are only paid around £200 per month. They are forced to work on building the stadiums and find it increasingly difficult to work in the heat as they are only allowed to stop if the temperature reaches 48°C.

A lot of people aren’t paid and are restricted in leaving their current job for a new one. In March’s World Cup Qualifiers for this tournament, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands all protested about the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar which sent out a powerful message to the world.

Furthermore, the people working are not allowed to leave and see their family and some have not seen them for over three years. The workers send money to their family to support them financially. The migrant workers are given accommodation but share it with other people in a compact space which lacks privacy.

The workers also have agents and they force the workers to give them money when they enter the job. Several workers have died in construction of the stadiums and the numbers have kept rising. Over 5000 people will die before a ball has even been kicked at the tournament which is set to begin on the 21st of November.

On the Metro, which connects each stadium, there are certain carriages for women due to the laws that the country has in place which could cause some issues as this is extremely rare in other countries.

Also, the workers that are projected to have died before the tournament has even begun and the pain the people building the stadiums have gone through over the last couple of years should never have happened.

To conclude, I believe that this will be a spectacular World Cup for all fans to enjoy. But, with the certain rules on LGBT and gender, it could come to cause a lot of controversy.

The Author

Jack Patmore

Billericay Town Media Assistant | Work for The Non-League Paper, VAVEL, Phoenix FM & others | Part of The Football Writers Association | BBC Young Reporter Winner 2023

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