Despite our huffing and puffing to blow out its scorching world cup bid, Qatar has won the bid to host the 2022 finals. FIFA announced this afternoon in Zurich that the small Middle Eastern country – the first to hold a world cup final – won despite proposals from the United States, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.
Critics are concerned that unlike Russia, which won the 2018 bid, Qatar’s high summertime temperatures and humidity will be an important impediment. But the country has plans to build several sophisticated, solar-powered and carbon neutral stadiums that will maintain a comfortable environment for both players and spectators.
The win is a major boon for Qatar, which has taken huge strides to improve the quality of life for its citizens as part of its Vision 2030 plan. However, plagued by desertification and deeply reliant on desalination for its water, (which is energy intensive and destructive to the Persian Gulf’s marine environment), such an enormous construction project could exact a serious environmental price.
Others note that with its own soccer team ranked at only 95 and a population of less than two million, a dozen new stadiums will go to waste or create an expensive and unnecessary maintenance nightmare such as occurred in South Africa.
Even so, as Qatar will be the first Middle Eastern country to host a world cup finals, we have to admit, it’s kind of exciting.
Please visit these sites for more information about Qatar’s 2022 bid: