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:  2022-07-06 06:03:01

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 most controversial so far, often labeled as FIFA's biggest mistake. While we still hope the competition will produce some magnificent games, it will be hard to erase everything that leads to 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. This meant that if Israel did qualify for this World Cup, that would potentially become a nightmare. While Qatar states they are welcome, Israeli players wouldn't be in the same position as 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, even though they are still allowed 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, eliminating them in the process.

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 takes that title since it's the same size as Hawaii with Utah's population! In theory, this has some advantages, as all the venues are so close by. Hence, teams and fans won't spend much time traveling, and everyone will be in the same situation. However, even FIFA admits that Qatar might be too small to handle such a large competition.

Unlike Switzerland. which hosted 16 teams and 26 games, Qatar must care for 32 sides in 64 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 will be overcrowded with visitors who may have difficulties finding a place to sleep or traveling to games. Currently, we only hear promises, as the country is still building its infrastructure.

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 previously hasn't qualified for the competition. However, it was only the second World Cup, and Italy was among the best teams, demonstrating it by winning the title. 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 just 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. Their performance was a disaster, as out of eight games, they won only one – versus minnows Luxembourg (1-0). Yet, against Serbia and Portugal, they scored a single goal while allowing 14! Undoubtedly, they will be the weakest side in the World Cup, and even playing at home won't change that. 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 will spend over $200 billion for the event.

As FIFA eventually agreed, the tournament will take place in only eight arenas, as all but one are very close to each other. This will only produce additional infrastructural headaches, potentially turning the event into a nightmare. The fans won't have much choice but to be patient and go to the games very 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 are hesitant to visit the country during the FIFA World Cup. Yet, we hope the agreement will last decades after the competition ends.

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, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will be the shortest in the century! Furthermore, this will be the shortest tournament since 1982, when only 24 teams participated. In total, 64 games will be crammed up in 28 days, meaning everyone will have less time to rest. By the semifinals, many players will be exhausted or injured.  

Furthermore, there will be four games during the group stage every day, so only a few will dedicate 12 hours to watch them all. The irony is that this will probably impact Qatar, as everyone will skip their games. As we already concluded, they are probably the tournament's weakest side, so no one will care to watch them unless their favorite team is 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 starts in late autumn and finishes just before winter in the northern hemisphere. Those who defend this decision explain that daily temperatures in Qatar can go up to 50 degrees during the summer months. 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 will come with lots of consequences hurting everyone involved.

As we already mentioned, this will result in a tight schedule and affect players, as the World Cup comes in the middle of the club season. Furthermore, the competition will clash with holidays and the NFL playoffs, so many Americans will ignore it. FIFA is already having headaches with sponsors and broadcasters and probably can't wait for this World Cup to end. Well, we are pretty sure that FIFA learned this expensive lesson and will be back to the summer 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 are coming from everywhere. While the competition should promote Qatar, the country has 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 will boycott the competition, the damage has been done.

The protest and calls for boycotts probably won't stop even during the World Cup, as they will come from powerful human rights groups. While FIFA and the hosts will surely ignore it, it will affect their 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 earn miserable payments and are forced to live in labor camps. Plus, their fundamental human rights are gone, 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 die daily, mainly from the heat and unsafe conditions. The Qatar 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, no one knows if LGBT fans will be safe on the streets. There's no doubt that many will assume that going to the 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 pretty obvious 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 don't know much about it. Nevertheless, Platini is already indicted on fraud charges, indicating substance to this story. For this whole time, the only response from the Qatari government is that everyone is jealous. As it seems, the World Cup will proceed, and if we ever hear the truth, it will come years after. Yet, no one believes Qatar deserves to host the World Cup rightfully.

There's a massive chance that giving the World Cup to Qatar is one of the biggest mistakes in football history. While there's no doubt that the small country will try to cover it up by throwing away even more money, the long-term impression will probably stay negative considering what we said on our top ten list. Yet, we hope participating teams will provide us with some great moments and introduce young stars that will overshadow all the tragedies and scandals. Yet, don't be surprised to witness some controversial matches.

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

Photo: Rowen Smith/Unsplash



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