Top 10 Reasons Why the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar Might Be the Worst So Far

Tags: #Football ,   #Soccer ,   #2022FIFAWorldCup ,   #Qatar ,   #WorldCup

Michael Wendom

Michael Wendom

Last updated:  2023-02-07 18:00:09

The FIFA World Cup is a major planetary event that everyone seems to care about. Yet, all editions of the competition were surrounded by controversies. However, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is the worst offender, often labeled as FIFA's biggest mistake. While the competition produced some magnificent games, the fact is that Qatar never deserved it. So these are the top ten reasons this World Cup may be among the worst.

10. Russia and Israel

Qatar is still not interested in recognizing Israel

Qatar has a very problematic relationship with Israel, to the point that they don't even recognize it. While a few Israeli athletes did compete in Qatar, no Israeli national teams ever did. If Israel qualified for this World Cup, that could become a nightmare. While Qatar states they are welcome, Israeli players would be in a different position than everyone else. Luckily for the hosts, The Blue and Whites came only third in their group and didn't reach the tournament.

Russia was the other country facing obstacles, but Qatar didn't have anything to do with it. In 2019, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned Russia from all major competitions but still allowed them to appear in qualifications. In practice, if Russia managed to reach the finals, FIFA could prevent them from competing, citing WADA. The alternative solution would be Russia's participation under a different name, without a flag and national anthem. This embargo ends on December 16th, 2022 – only two days before the 2022 FIFA World Cup final! Yet, after the attack on Ukraine, FIFA suspended Russians, thus eliminating them.

9. Qatar is too tiny to host the FIFA World Cup

See how tiny Qatar is!

In 1954, Switzerland hosted the FIFA World Cup, becoming the smallest nation to do so. However, Qatar took that title since it's the same size as Hawaii, with Utah's population (of about three million)! In theory, this has some advantages, as all the venues are so close by. Hence, teams and fans didn't spend much time traveling. However, even FIFA admits that Qatar might be too small to handle such a hefty competition. Therefore, the FIFA World Cup schedule took a lot of work.

Unlike Switzerland, which hosted 16 teams and 26 games, Qatar must care for 32 sides in 64 FIFA World Cup matches! This is only the beginning, as they need to accommodate close to 100,000 accredited people and many more football fans. This means the tiny nation was overcrowded with visitors who needed help finding a place to sleep or traveling to games. Is this one of the reasons why we witness so many empty seats? Plus, the tickets were way too expensive!

8. Qatar Doesn't Deserve to Play

Qatar showed nothing even against much weaker opponents than Serbia

In 1934 Italy became the first and the only FIFA World Cup host who never qualified for the competition. However, it was only the second World Cup, and Italy was among the best teams. Yet, while they were close to qualifying for the tournament several times, Qatar never did it. Even though they have had some regional success in recent years, they are not among the best in Asia. To illustrate it, we need to look at their results during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

To better prepare for the tournament, Qatar played friendly matches against all teams from the UEFA Group A. Yet, their performance was a disaster, as out of eight games, they won only one – versus minnows Luxembourg (1-0). Furthermore, against Serbia and Portugal, they scored a single goal while allowing 14! Undoubtedly, they were the weakest side in the World Cup, easily losing all their games. There should be a rule securing that only a nation previously qualified for the World Cup could host one!

7. Only Eight Stadiums

These stadiums look beautiful, but there's too few of them

While Qatar promised it would build 12 stadiums for the World Cup, in 2013, they asked to reduce that number to only eight or nine! This was quite embarrassing, as FIFA even thought about letting nearby countries co-host the event. As it turned out, the cost of building so many stadiums is unacceptable, especially with the investments in roads and even a new city. In total, Qatar spent over $200 billion on the event.

As FIFA eventually agreed, the tournament happened in only eight arenas, with all but one close to each other. This only produced additional infrastructural headaches, potentially making the event a nightmare. The fans have little choice but to be patient and go to the games early to arrive on time. The FIFA World Cup is the biggest global event, but it might look relatively small in Qatar.

6. Sponsoring Terrorism Allegations

Qatar managed to resolve the crisis relatively untouched

In 2017, Qatar was accused of state-supported terrorism by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt. These countries effectively imposed sanctions on Qatar and were later joined by other Asian and African nations. Some even request FIFA to take away the World Cup hosting, including Yemen, UAE, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt. Furthermore, Germany joined them and even considered withdrawing from the tournament. In the meantime, Qatar denied such allegations, claiming they strongly support the War on Terror.

However, in 2021 the situation was resolved, and the borders between countries in dispute were finally open. Still, it will take a lot of time and money before Qatar improves its reputation. This might be another reason fans were hesitant to visit the country during the FIFA World Cup. Yet, we hope the agreement will last for decades.

5. The Shortest World Cup of the Millennium

There are just too many games per day, and it will affect the quality of football

The FIFA World Cup comes only once in four years, so we all want it to last as long as possible. Yet, Qatar's 2022 FIFA World Cup was the shortest in the century! Furthermore, this was the briefest tournament since 1982, when only 24 teams participated. In total, 64 games were crammed into 28 days, meaning FIFA World Cup 2022 teams will have less time to rest. By the semifinals, many players will be exhausted or injured.  

Furthermore, as there were four games daily during the group stage, only a few dedicated 12 hours to watching them. The irony is that this primarily impacted Qatar, as skipping their games was a clever idea. As we already concluded, they were the tournament's weakest side, so no one cared to watch them unless their favorite team was involved. If you wonder why this is happening, the answer comes at number four on our list.

4. The First Winter FIFA World Cup

No one is happy that the World Cup will come at the end of 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup started in late autumn and finished just before winter in the northern hemisphere. Those who defended this decision explained that daily temperatures in Qatar can go up to 50 degrees during summer. However, the hosts promised they would solve this with air-conditioning before admitting they couldn't do it. Practically, they cheated FIFA and made them accept their ultimatum to host the competition at the end of 2022. However, this came with lots of consequences hurting everyone involved.

As we already mentioned, this resulted in a tight schedule and affected players, as the World Cup comes in the middle of the club season. Therefore, many top stars were injured, while others were tired. Furthermore, the competition clashed with holidays and the NFL playoffs, so many Americans ignored it. We are confident that FIFA learned this expensive lesson and will be back to the summer FIFA World Cup schedule, hopefully forever.

3. Boycott Calls

It seems that the World Cup is too big to boycott it

Since many FIFA officials see this World Cup as a mistake, it's not surprising that boycott calls were coming from everywhere. While the competition should promote Qatar, the country only felt a negative impact in the last ten years. The irony is that everyone is now paying attention to what is going on there, making the government spend an insane amount of money and time improving its image. While none of the countries boycotted the competition, the damage has been done.

The protest and calls for boycotts didn't stop during the World Cup, as they came from powerful human rights groups. Furthermore, teams like Germany made gestures that only divided the public. While FIFA and the hosts ignored everything, it affected their image and revenue. On the positive side, Qatar has been making progress in recent years, and even if they do it only because they are forced, it's still a good sign.

2. Modern Slavery and LGBT Rights

So many construction workers are dying in Qatar

To build infrastructure for the World Cup, Qatar had to hire many foreign workers. However, they earned miserable payments and lived in labor camps. Plus, they have no fundamental rights, as they can't quit their jobs or leave the country unless permitted. Combining this with awful working conditions means that over 6500 people died during the building process. On average, two construction workers died daily, mainly from the heat and unsafe conditions. However, these are only the official numbers. The Qatari government is making minimal effort to change things, as they are busy covering up all the deaths.

Furthermore, Qatar is still showing extreme hostility toward the LGBT community, as homosexuality is an offense that may lead to lengthy prison sentences. Yet, under pressure, they promised more tolerance and even rainbow flags in the stadiums. However, LGBT fans couldn't feel safe on the streets. There's no doubt that many assume that going to a country where they are not wanted isn't the best way to spend the winter holidays.

1. Qatar May Have Bought the Rights to Host the World Cup

Platini was detained, but nothing came out of it, at least publicly

We listed numerous reasons against this World Cup, many of which were apparent even before the voting. Furthermore, since FIFA thoroughly inspects every candidate country, they know it much better than any of us. Logically, this begs the question - why was Qatar selected? Well, there are many claims about bribery and corruption that made the right people cast their votes for Qatar. Since 2011, there have been countless reports about this, even involving then FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.

Finally, in 2019, former UEFA president Michel Platini was arrested for his alleged involvement in corruption. However, we still need to learn more about it. Nevertheless, Platini is already indicted on fraud charges, providing substance to this story. For this whole time, the only response from the Qatari government is that everyone is jealous. Therefore, if we ever hear the truth, it will come years after. Yet, no one believes Qatar deserves to host the World Cup rightfully, and that will always remain the same.

There's a massive chance that giving the World Cup to Qatar is one of the biggest mistakes in football history. However, the small country tried to cover it up by throwing away even more money. Yet, the long-term impression will stay negative, considering what we mentioned on our top ten list. Still, the participating teams have provided us with some great moments and introduced young stars to overshadow the tragedies and scandals. There's no doubt it would be even better at some other place.

Are you watching the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar? Which team that never won the title will perform the best?

Cover photo: Rowen Smith/Unsplash


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Abdellah Mazzi Says:

The world cup is finished. This world cup has been the best world cup in football hisotry. Now, you can throw your article to the nearest garbage can. Lol.
Thank you Qatar

December 18 at 11:03:17 PM

Michael Wendom Says:

Well, the level of play doesn't have anything to do with the fact that this World Cup shouldn't be awarded to Qatar. That was the point of this article. Therefore, we'll rank this World Cup among the best in history, but these lists are all about the quality of games and the atmosphere, so they don't include factors we mentioned here. We still believe that Qatar is the least deserving World Cup host in history.

December 19 at 02:21:52 PM

Robert Bartels Says:

FIFA is not a stranger to financial scandals. Some people must have paid handsomely for this certainly embarrassing event to continue.

November 24 at 01:44:08 AM

Andrew Tonge Says:

After reading your article. I am not going to watch the World Cup in Qatar. I am 62 yrs old and have watched every World Cup as an avid fan of football.This is not football anymore it’s corruption
Money has finally come before the beautiful game

November 04 at 01:56:46 AM

Wasif Says:

Its all fake broda islamic countries are the safest countries you find on the globe women done needto worry about harrasment the house dont worry about burglary and as far as the article it does what itdoes thebest ruin people thoughts

December 12 at 04:23:50 PM

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