Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Double Edged Sword: 2022

Well, Qatar did it. Qatar put a bid in to FIFA to hold the 2022 World Cup, and today they were awarded the games over the US, Japan and, well, another loser who I can't remember.

I was fortunate enough to be down at the Corniche in Doha, the capital city where I am living, when the announcement was made. Well, I say fortunate, although at the time, I felt dumb. There were a few other location around the city that had giant screens for people to gather around to watch the awarding ceremony. I thought the Corniche was one of those places. I was wrong. There was no screen. So, I sat, in my car, looking out over the waters of the Persian Gulf and listened to Al Jazeera on the radio waiting for the announcement. There were very few people around. It was pretty quiet. I was going to miss all of the excitement it seemed. Not a great move. Then, two minutes after the head FIFA-er announced that Qatar had won, the Corniche suddenly filled up with cars and a whole lot of very, very excited Qataris. Boy, were they excited. Horns honking, flags waving, music playing, laughter and joy all around. I had never seen revelry in Qatar, let alone this amount. People were having a really great time. I mean, a REALLY great time, driving around, honking, waving, and being open, warm and friendly! It was impressive and fun and I'm glad I was there when it happened. I headed home as streams of people were heading in. I think the festivities will go on for an awful lot of fun.

HOWEVER, tomorrow will be a new day, and Qatar is going to face a lot of scrutiny and be in the center of a very powerful spotlight. It's going to be interesting to see how this goes down. Already twitter is alive with a whole lot of interesting comments. Let's take a look, shall we...

windoverwater #Qatar will expect all women to have shoulders and neck covered, no #tanktops ladies, sorry.

azewde #Qatar built its track & field team by naturalizing East African runners. Now they'll build their #2022 soccer team w/ West Africans #Quatar

@danlobb FIFA representatives will be very very very rich from announcing #Russia 2018 & #Qatar 2022 world cups.#howmuchdidyoupayRoman???

girlfriday19 Seriously tho, I understand ppl want to separate sports from politics, but end of the day, human rights issues are more impt. #Qatar #FIFA

vicki_dee Alcohol Laws of #Qatar: Public drunkenness, openly displaying alcohol in public are forbidden. ...Ummm, that #worldcup is gonna suck.

windoverwater #Qatar apparently has no tolerance for #homosexuals. Will be jailed on sight.

dawashington Does @FIFAcom hate gay soccer fans? ( #worldcup2022 #qatar

SeeDice #Qatar? Its as big as san francisco.

bisialimi And #2022 goes to ....... #qatar, now #fifa is a Joke, big time ... Lol

_nctrnl Boycott #FIFA World Cup in #Qatar 2022 Sign the Petition #WorldCup2022 #WC2022 #FIFAFail #Fail #EpicFail

msalgado Raise your hand if you think western women want to travel to a World Cup in Qatar! #nofuckingway #qatar #wtf

MegoSalbashian The only way for Qatar to play in the world cup is to buy the whole bid in 2022. #Qatar #Worldcup2022

jabmakepeace #QATAR #worldcupcorruption Interesting human trafficking report on QATAR -

nwskyles Fifa is crooked. #Qatar #WorldCup

GarethGeorge The 2022 #worldcup will 100% not happen in #Qatar. Not a chance, zip, zero. New vote within 5 years.

TheLazySalesman I'd love to see the #Qatar 'bid book', an index and 500 blank pages of Rymans finest Basildon Bond I reckon

markmravic Fiver: "the preposterously wealthy human rights- and women-abusing crackling furnace that is #Qatar."

peterkonnecke @insidethegames something stinks with qatar team seen congratulating each other before vote announced #fifa #qatar @worldcup

martywyss #Qatar does not meet humans rights standards of the UN and still has a form of slavery called sponsorship ... smart move #FIFA

ZacherMediaPR Cowherd on #Qatar: "People from Qatar vacation in Phoenix in August to cool off."

And it goes on and on and on. And, it's only four hours after the announcement has been made. Qatar isn't a fan of negative comments as it is, so I think some of the stuff that will be talked about in the media and online is going to be pretty hard for some Qataris to swallow.

As you can see by a number of the comments, already questions about migrant workers and human rights are being brought up. What more will come? Qatar is a pretty small country and it has gone largely unnoticed by much of the world. Everything is about to change, and with that change is going to come some heavy criticism, I think it is fair to say. How will Qatar handle it?

Qatar did a good job with it's bid presentation. It has the 2022 World Cup. Now it has a lot of work to do. It will be an interesting 12 years.

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