by Graham Pierrepoint
The very fact that Qatar won the bid to host the soccer world cup at all remains a fairly contentious issue – not only is it blisteringly hot out East during the traditional timeframes of the tournament, but it’s a country which has been at the centre of conflict and political dispute for some time. There has already been talk of moving the traditional timeframes for the world cup in 2022 to the winter instead of the summer – but these, at least right now, appear to be the least of the worries currently facing those organising the popular tournament.
A confidential review identifying potential risks in Qatar hosting the event in 2022 states that ‘increasing political risk’ could be responsible for the removal of the country from hosting duties. This is reportedly due to continuing disputes between neighboring countries – with several areas surrounding the country alleging that it is actively supporting the growth of terrorism. Nations as diverse as the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have all refused to play ball (quite literally) with Qatar in recent months.
“There is absolutely no risk to the future of the first world cup in the Middle East,” advises Qatar’s committee set up for the event. However, the report filed into the setup of the tournament is readily suggesting that anyone looking to take up architectural contracts and otherwise with regard to Qatar 2022 are doing so at some risk. “It is certainly possible that the tournament will not be held in Qatar,” the report states. “Any cancellation of Qatar hosting the world cup 2022 will likely be abrupt and will leave contractors involved in a precarious situation that may not be easily resolved.”
Qatar’s response has hardly been co-operative, however – instead insisting that all will go ahead as planned without such scaremongering. “The intention to create doubt regarding the tournament, while attempting to cause resentment amongst Qatari citizens and anxiety amongst foreign businesses and residents, is as transparent as it is laughable,” the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy has advised the BBC. This, again, cements the country’s position with regard to there being ‘no risk’ to the tournament taking place on Eastern soil.
The prospective world cup set to take place in Qatar in 2022 is set to be one of the most controversial of all time – and planning is barely underway. Will the next five years see smoother sailing for the future of the tournament? Stick with us – and we’ll soon let you know.