Qatar’s 2022 World Cup Bid: Spectacular Stadiums Promised

Qatar might not be the bookmaker’s favourite to win the right to host the 2022 World Cup from FIFA, but you can’t say they don’t have some interesting stadium designs:

London’s Telegraph wrote about the key figures behind the bid a couple of months ago:

In a part of the world that is not exactly renowned for good news, the bold bid by the Gulf state of Qatar to stage soccer’s World Cup in 2022 has the potential to transform the region’s image throughout the world.

Qatar knows it will face stiff competition from the United States and Australia to stage this prestigious event when its “bid book” is formally submitted next month. But there is nevertheless a quiet confidence at the bid team’s Doha headquarters that staging a world cup in a region that has never previously hosted an international tournament of this stature will be an attractive proposition for the FIFA judges.

After FIFA took the bold decision to stage this year’s finals in South Africa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the enthusiastic young Qatari prince who is masterminding the emirate’s bid, believes there are compelling arguments for awarding the event to the Middle East.

“The best thing FIFA ever did was to give South Africa the World Cup,” said Sheikh Mohammed, 22, when I met up with him in Doha. “If FIFA lets us stage the games it will be a massive boost for the sport. If you are talking about expanding the game the Middle East is a relatively untapped market.”

Apparently, if you buy the bid’s promises, a revolutionary cooling system will prevent all the players from dissolving into puddles by the end of games: “Each of the five stadiums will harness the power of the suns rays to provide a cool environment for players and fans by converting solar energy into electricity that will then be used to cool both fans and players at the stadiums.”

As for how we assess how realistic Qatar’s chances are of winning the bid when it’s announced this December 2nd? Same as the rest of the bids: we have little idea, as the 24 men who will decide it on FIFA’s Executive Committee continue to be brazenly wooed in questionable ways.

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