• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • Qatar Looks Worryingly Unprepared To Host The 2022 World Cup

Qatar Looks Worryingly Unprepared To Host The 2022 World Cup

Qatar Looks Worryingly Unprepared To Host The 2022 World Cup
By Eoin Harrington Updated

As the good, great, and questionable of the world of football descend on Qatar for the 2022 World Cup group stage draw, questions are understandably being asked of the country's suitability to host the tournament.

Ever since the Gulf country was awarded the tournament hosting rights in 2010, concerns have rightly been raised about their human rights record. Fresh concerns have been raised in recent days about the safety of LGBTQ+ fans at the tournament, while conditions for migrant workers building the stadiums in Qatar have been abysmal.

The tally of migrant worker deaths in Qatar has sailed past a sickening 6,500 in the 11 years since the World Cup was awarded to the country.

The focus of the football world should be on the human rights concerns surrounding the country, and they cannot escape the minds of fans and pundits alike in the coming months.

The 2022 World Cup will regrettably barrel along and arrive in the Gulf in November all the same - but Qatar doesn't look best prepared for the influx of football punters...

Qatar 2022: Country looks unprepared to host World Cup this winter

The concept of a World Cup in Qatar is bizarre. Even when you look past the atrocities (and the bribery that brought us here in the first place), the country is tiny.

The area of the Gulf country is about eight times smaller than that of Ireland. Qatar as a nation doesn't surpass any of the provinces on the island of Ireland, and its population is even smaller than ours, at somewhere between 2 and 3 million.

Advertisement

Over 80% of the country's population lives in the capital city of Doha, which will host the vast majority of the tournament's games this winter. The city is hosting this Friday's draw for the group stages - and photos from journalists travelling to the draw suggest that Doha is not quite ready for November's influx of fans.

According to the BBC, FIFA estimate that 1.5 million fans will travel to the tournament this winter (it still feels strange typing "winter" instead of "summer").

That level of support was manageable for the two previous hosts Russia and Brazil, two of the biggest countries on the planet by surface area. The spread out nature of the host cities in both Russia and Brazil also helped to deal with the stress on domestic hospitality.

Advertisement

By contrast, the travelling fans expected mean that the city of Doha will, realistically, be expecting to increase to at least 150% of its normal population at points during the tournament.

With the city looking like this just over 200 days until kick-off at Qatar 2022, there is justifiable concern over whether the city will be ready to host the World Cup.

When you contrast the size of Doha with the size of Dublin, the decision to host the World Cup in Qatar becomes even more baffling.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Only once before in World Cup history has a single city provided more than two stadiums for the tournament. That single occurrence was the very first tournament in Uruguay in 1930, when all games were played in Montevideo.

That tournament saw only 13 teams compete over the course of just 18 matches. Qatar 2022 will see 32 teams take part in 64 games - on a condensed schedule.

FIFA have moved from their biggest ever host venue in Russia in 2018, to their smallest ever in Qatar in 2022.

This will be the last World Cup with only 32 teams, before the move to 48 in 2026, and it's likely that FIFA are grateful for this given the concerns over Qatar's preparedness.

There is a strange feeling surrounding this 2022 World Cup, and it's hard to see the excitement matching that of previous tournaments given all of the issues and questions surrounding hosts Qatar.

SEE ALSO: Simon Jordan Savages Gareth Southgate's Achievements As England Manager

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are subscribed now!

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com

Advertisement