When Qatar was announced as the host of World Cup 2022, there were plenty of eyebrows raised and puzzled faces. There were plenty of nations that were better suited to hosting the greatest prize in international football and to most football fans, the Middle Eastern nation was not on any list, but obviously for FIFA it was.
There were plenty of reasons why this nation were never suited to hosting the World Cup and the first one being the temperature. As we all know, Qatar is in a rather hot part of the World. Temperatures in Doha in June, the usual month for World Cup football, saw highs of 45 Celsius. This to be honest is not tolerable to walk around in, let alone play 90 minutes of football. July barely cools either. Who on earth would have thought this was a good idea. It shouldn’t have mattered about money or it being the first Middle Eastern nation to host the World Cup,
Then of course you have the situation with the stadia. There will need to be new ones built to enable the competition to be completed. Most of the stadia have a maximum capacity of 12,000. Only three stadiums have plus 20,000 capacity. These are the Khalifa International Stadium which has 48000, the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium with 44,740 and the Thani bin Jasmin Stadium also known as the Al Gharrafa Stadium has a capacity of 21, 175. This has meant a number of stadiums to be built with 40,000 plus capacity
This though leads to another situation as Qatar league games are not exactly Stadium fillers. Ive tried to look for Qatari League attendance stats, but they are not easy to come by. From the limited information I could find, the highest league attendance is around 7000. It doesn’t bode well for post World Cup football especially with attendances at AFC Fylde and Sutton United in the National league likely to attract bigger attendances than some of the Qatari league games.
It is surely not too late to change things and give the tournament a new host, where football will be enjoyed by the host nations fans and the fans from other nations.
Expanding a tournament that is already looking like being a mess is not going to do FIFA any favours. This is one decision that doesn’t need to happen and should be reversed. Any right minded football supporter would agree that Qatar or any other middle eastern nation should host a World Cup tournament.