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Was hosting world cup a mistake for Qatar

Last night, the world witnessed Argentina's groundbreaking and, instead, nerve-wracking victory over France in FIFA World Cup Finals. As a result, Argentina bagged the golden Trophy, and the Star of the show was Lionel Messi, who bagged a tie-breaking goal in the World Cup Finals on the very last match of his career and helped Argentina in conquering the world cup trophy.

The match was played in Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, on Sunday evening, among the eight stadiums that hosted the FIFA world cup matches over the tournament.

Initially, 12 stadium plans were proposed and finalized for World Cup 2022; however, the nation 2014 cut short the optimistic plan of 12 stadiums to 8 stadiums in total due to financial constraints.

However, did you know that Qatar was the first nation of the "Arab World" and "Muslim Country" to grab hosting rights for the world cup back in 2010? Wrapped with controversies and alleged bribing, was it even worth the nation's suffering over the past decade?

But before diving into that, let us first look at what Qatar has done to bag the hosting rights for FIFA World Cup- 2022 to understand what is at stake for this Arabian nation.

was hosting world cup a mistake for qatar

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How are Host nations selected?

The preparation for hosting rights initiate as early as 7 to 10 years in advance. Then, a bidding process is adopted for choosing the hosts. Any nation that wishes to host may bid. Although, countries that are part of continents which have hosted the last two world cups can not participate in the bidding. For 2the 022 world cup, South America and Europe could not bid for hosting rights.

The FIFA congress casts the votes under an exhaustive ballot system.

As for 2the 022 FIFA world cup in Qatar, the voting was undertaken in 4 rounds, and the table on the left depicts the votes cast.

Each nation has to, however, fulfil specific criteria such as certain financial and infrastructural requirements. Each bidder has to have at least one stadium with 80k+ seating capacity and other stadiums with 60k+ and 40k+ seating. In addition, each nation must have built at minimum 8 and 12 stadiums to hold the hosting rights.

How was Qatar got selected?

The nation was elected as the host for the 2022 world cup in 2010. Ever since, the nation has indulged in building stadiums and hotels to prepare for the World Cup, with more than 100 hotels and 7sevenbrand new stadiums for the world cup.

Rules don't apply when we talk about Qatar. We say so because, ever since the nation's selection as host nation, it has been entangled in controversies and allegations on controversies.

Ever since the nation was founded in 1850, the nation has been an absolute monarchy under the reign of Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and his successors. Monarchy enjoys the advantage of quick decision-making and firm adherence to rules formed by Monarchs. Hence, in an interview with BBC in April 2013, Jerome Valcke, FIFA's former secretary general, admitted to preferring dealing with Monarch governments like Russia and Qatar. However, he was later caught up in the controversy and was charged with bribery and forging documents. This is the same man involved in the controversial mail that suggested Qatar had bought the hosting rights for the 2022 world cup in 2011.

In the same year, 2011, as per "The Sunday Times", Phaedra Al-Majid, who was part of the successful 2022 Qatari World Cup Bid, claimed that Qatar had given $1.5 Million to African Football Confederation president Issa Hayatou, Ivory Coast FIFA member Jacques Anouma to secure the spot in a bid for the world cup.

Other Controversies:

First winter world cup:

Qatar has a hot climate. For example, summer temperatures can be as high as 45 to 50 degrees Celsius. With such a challenging climate, the world cup, which traditionally took place in Summers, was postponed to winter, making it the first "winter world cup" ever played in History, which brings us to our next point.

Human Right Violation for players:

FIFA games are usually played in summer, from June- July. However, considering the scorching hot climate, the event was shifted to November. But it posed a central "reduced recovery time" issue on Qatar Back. 

FIFPRO (The Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels), an international organization representing more than 65,000 football players worldwide, published a report which indicated the recovery time in the world cup 2022 drastically dropped from 37 days to mere 8eightdays. This forces the players to over-work and leads to underperformance in the world cup.


The nation has invested more than $200 Billion in infrastructure and world cup preparation. Although Qatar is one of the rwealthiestnations in the world, thanks to its oil and mineral reserves, spending a hefty sum on hosting a world cup seems way too much.

For comparison, the 2018 World Cup Host, Russia, spent 16 times less than Qatar and still was the costliest host at that time and faced backlash for spending that much money. 

With Qatar's extravagant show of wealth created a money pit. In the face of proving its supremacy to the world, Qatar might have spent a lot more than anticipated.

Migrant Workers' Controversy:

Ever since the preparation for the world cup began in the early 2010s, the nation has faced international pressure for not treating its workers well. According to BBC, more than 30,000 labourers were hired to build stadium infrastructure. The workers were migrants from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines, a BBC report read.

In February 2021, an article in Guardian claimed the death of more than 6500 workers in Qatar since 2010. All the workers were involved in World Cup-related infrastructure construction. The data from country embassies in Qatar claimed. The BBC report stated that the workers were also underpaid, paid unfair wages, and exploited in some cases.

To earn the title of Global Host of the world cup, the nation has undergone hard labour and suffered quite hardships; however, was it all worth the effort?

What did Qatar gain from the world cup?

Damaged global reputation and several controversies later, the country has generated a revenue of $7.5 billion for FIFA through commercial deals and ticket sales. The numbers are a billion higher than the previous world cup host Russia's total revenue generation.

However, when we compare the initial cost, the nation has allegedly invested more than 200 billion dollars, which is much more palpable than the generated revenue.

Over the first two weeks of the World Cup season, this Eastern country welcomed over 765,000 visitors, which fell relatively short of the expected target of 1.2 million previously assumed by the country.

However, as the curtain on World Cup is closed, so are the plans for enormously built stadiums and hotels built in the light of the World Cup. Although the managing committee claims to "vanish" the stadiums, the execution plan still seems a bit hazy.

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