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Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Qatar World Cup 2022: A look at the winning bidder

By Matt Bonesteel

(Most info taken from Qatar's entry in the CIA World Fact Book here.)

Population: Either 840,926 (CIA Fact Book estimate) or 1,699,435 (Qatar census estimate).

Languages: Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language.

Time zone: East Africa Time (currently eight hours ahead of Eastern United States).

Current FIFA ranking: 113.

Ruler: Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (in power since 1995, when he ousted his father in a bloodless coup).

They're rich: "As of 2007, oil and natural gas revenues had enabled Qatar to attain the second-highest per capita income in the world."

Alcohol laws: Public drunkenness, openly displaying alcohol in public are forbidden.

By Matt Bonesteel  | December 2, 2010; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  2022 World Cup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: USA falls short in bid to host 2022 World Cup, losing to Qatar; Russia beats England for 2018 event
Next: Qatar World Cup: a children's treasury of Twitter snark

Comments

the public drinking thing needs to change or I wont go, or i will probably be arrested one of the two

Posted by: bearcox13 | December 2, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Proximity to biggest state supporter of terrorism armed with scud missiles: less than 150 miles.

Posted by: rademaar | December 2, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

According to UK travel advisories, women must cover shoulders (sorry, no tank tops in the triple-digit heat) and homosexual behavior is punishable by five years in prison.

Posted by: CJB79TX | December 2, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Alcohol laws: Public drunkenness, openly displaying alcohol in public are forbidden.

that is the same for D.C. and most cities not named New Orleans or Las Vegas

Posted by: rockotodd | December 2, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I am guessing Dutch brewery Bavaria won't be sending in the blonde hotties in 2022.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/17/world-cup-ambush-marketin_n_615872.html

Posted by: csd1 | December 2, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

"a bloodless coup"?

Yes. All smotherings.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | December 2, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

did i mention they might have nukes on top of those scuds by then?

Posted by: rademaar | December 2, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I understand this is the middle east and there will be differences in culture but really Qatar? i would have defiantly gone for Saudi Arabia, some place with more international clout and more to lose if footage of them bashing my skull in got out to the media after i get a little too rowdy. and the idea of a place that routinely jails foreigners who are gay JUST FOR BEING GAY, doesn't sit well with me. I would love tog o and experience the culture but it feels like this will be a more unwelcoming and opposing nature to this cup. see you guys in brazil

Posted by: bearcox13 | December 2, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I guess this proves that the world isn't going crazy over Prince William and Kate.

Posted by: rockotodd | December 2, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

if you really want to drink at least you will have Russia in 2018!

Posted by: GraciasRiquelme | December 2, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

2022 World Cup motto: my game if fair play, unless you're gay

Posted by: rightback | December 2, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but this reminds me a little China and the Olympics in 2008. The country was really forced to loosen restrictions for the press and put its guard down as a host country. I don't know if that had a real lasting impact (I've never been), but I would imagine this could be similar for Qatar.

International scrutiny in the WC may lead to more trasparency, and can shine a light on some of the more nagging social and political issues that the country is dealing with. Just a thought.

But yeah, I would've like to see the US get the WC.

Posted by: ezcheese81 | December 2, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

@rightback - or a woman.

Brazil 2014 is looking more and more like the best travel bet for US fans in the next 15 years. Maybe I should put down a deposit now.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 2, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Also, tiny as in the size of Connecticut. Guessing the Sheikh won't be hosting us at his palace if we go so will Qatar be left with thousands and thousands of empty hotel rooms after the WC rolls out?

And, hot as you know what.

Posted by: MMinVA | December 2, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

No Arab country should be hosting the WC as long as those countries continue to refuse to play against Israel. The fact that they play in UEFA instead of the AFC is absurd.

Posted by: grabowcp | December 2, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

...China and the Olympics in 2008. The country was really forced to loosen restrictions for the press and put its guard down as a host country...

Posted by: ezcheese81 | December 2, 2010 12:02 PM

I'd suggest that this did not happen very much.

Posted by: CDRHoek | December 2, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The Qataris put together a winning and great bid. Now is not the time for sour grapes. Prior to the bid decision date (today), I sensed no excitement in the U.S. - there were hardly any articles in the WP and D.C. would have been one of the host cities.

Posted by: helthe | December 2, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Also forbidden: being within the borders of Qatar while gay.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | December 2, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

hekthe,
it wasn't a lack of enthusiasm that got Qatar the bid, it was a lack of $$ bribes in Swiss accounts...
if you thought the ticket giveaway situation was sad in South Africa, just wait to see the low turnout here!

Posted by: Voodoodiver | December 2, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Also forbidden: being within the borders of Qatar while gay.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | December 2, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

will Qatari women even be allowed to attend matches? seriously, who is going to buy all the tickets? i guess they have 12 years to figure it out.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | December 2, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Voodoodiver,

I wasnt suggesting that lack of enthusiasm was the cause of their win and the US' loss. But really? Is bribes the only reason you've got? Have you even seen the bid packet the Qatar bid team put together? Didn't the US just have the WC in '94 as well? And if it's truly a "world" cup, then it's about time it went to a country in the Middle East - where their excitement is palpable.

Posted by: helthe | December 2, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

So, can we look forward to some long lunches during the '18 and '22 World Cups?

Posted by: fischy | December 2, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Nice country but to strict. Better know and follow the rules. I was assigned there for a few years. A foreigner's word means nothing against a local Qatari. Girls no sport bra's and no shirts revealing shoulders and definitely no shorts above the knee's I experience a Qatari local cutting me off in traffic and later was called into the local police headquarters and issued a fine because the Qatari reported me as reckless driving. Just be aware if any incidents happen between you and a Qatari local then there word is automatically true. You will be arrested. Let me say also they have a Recently opened Islamic ART Museum which is very nice. No Pork allowed at all. No alcohol in Restaurants unless located in The hotels.This means no alcohol at Applebee's Benigan's,Chili's.No liquor stores. No staring or bad gestures no matter what or you will be arrested.So go enjoy the world cup.

Posted by: slowandgentle25 | December 2, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The main problem is going to be the alcohol. As of today it's illegal to drink outside your home, even as a foreigner. There is no alcohol served anywhere, not even in hotels. Foreigners are permitted to purchase alcohol from a single state owned liquor store, and are required to carry a alcohol license.


I guess we should have sent Bush as a spokesperson? Lol.

Posted by: DCSNARK | December 2, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The worst part about the Qatar Cup? There's now way to have all those thousands of England fans that camp outside or rent out motor homes for a month.

Seriously, the games will probably be fine, but the event will miss all the intercultural bonding moments and the monthlong party. With the 130 degree heat, I guess there won't be the outdoor FanFests/viewing parties either.

Posted by: fischy | December 2, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Oops -- that should have read: There's NO way to have those thousands of England fans that camp outside and rent motor homes....

Posted by: fischy | December 2, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm holier than thou art, for I needest not fermented grains that a good time I may have.
I just care about the game.

Bummed it's not in the US, though. Qatar was my number two pick.

Posted by: WorldCup | December 2, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I smell another first round exit for the host nation.

Posted by: Dlewis6 | December 2, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

They're just setting it up for China in 2026.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 2, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

2022 World Cup motto: my game if fair play, unless you're gay

Posted by: rightback | December 2, 2010 11:57 AM |

winner.

Posted by: VTUnited | December 2, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I AM NOT going to a country that is sexist and homophobic with such primitive beliefs... this is an unbelievably bad decision! I feel sorry for all the players and team staff that will have to endure this primitive "society"!

Posted by: 10bestfan | December 2, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Not going to a homophobic country? Staying clear of the US then?

Posted by: BooThisMan | December 2, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I really cannot believe this is true, certainly not a wise decision.I was in qatar few months back on an official trip, there are some roads which are still under construction (for the past 5-6 years), I doubt how they are going to construct three new stadiums for this world class event. As far as my experience is concerned, the businesses in qatar does not know the meaning of quality customer service, you can confirm that right from hiring a cab and going to a 5 star hotel for a dinner.

All I can Say is GOD SAVE FIFA WORLD CUP
EVENT IN 2022

Posted by: wincomm786 | December 2, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

They're just setting it up for China in 2026.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 2, 2010 1:18 PM

Not possible. Same confederation. Can't do back-to-back WCs in the same confederation. At least not until FIFA officials get their bank accounts further stuffed.

Posted by: Boogie_Knight | December 2, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I thought FIFA had jettisoned the automatic berth for the host country at some point?

(Responses should begin, "Well, I can see that YOU don't know much about," etc.)

Posted by: fallschurch1 | December 2, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

You're thinking about the automatic berth for a defending champion. If the host nation had to qualify and didn't, ticket sales would be low.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | December 2, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"All I can Say is GOD SAVE FIFA WORLD CUP
EVENT IN 2022"

I think you meant Allah

Posted by: Pete803 | December 2, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

It was not the best choice by a long shot, but World Cup 2022 itself will be fine. There are serious problems with the bid of course, and how it was chosen, but alcohol will hardly be an issue. To whomever said you can only get alcohol at one store, that's not true. I had no problems getting drinks at my hotel in Doha. There will be far more places to get drinks by 2022.

Public drunkenness and drinking outside authorized places will be illegal, as it is in the United States. And keep in mind many counties in the US are completely dry - as in alcohol is completely illegal to sell.

And every match will sell out - guaranteed. About 2 billion people will live within a 4-hour flight of Doha by 2022. People will fly in for short 2-3 day trips and watch 4-5 matches over that time.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | December 2, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"And keep in mind many counties in the US are completely dry - as in alcohol is completely illegal to sell."

Um, yeah, except there are no 70,000 person stadia located in Ratchet Knob County, Tennessee or wherever else is dry in this country. NOBODY goes there, except when they're on a pilgrimage to Lynchburg, TN. It'd be like having a friggin' New Year's party in a dry Manhattan (pun intended).

Posted by: Modibo | December 2, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

"And every match will sell out - guaranteed. About 2 billion people will live within a 4-hour flight of Doha by 2022. People will fly in for short 2-3 day trips and watch 4-5 matches over that time."


Umm.... not every match was sold out during the 1998 world cup in France -- you know... that country that has a few soccer-loving neighbors?
You might want to temper your enthusiasm and get in touch with reality.

Posted by: Figgy | December 3, 2010 2:31 AM | Report abuse

"As of today it's illegal to drink outside your home, even as a foreigner. There is no alcohol served anywhere, not even in hotels."

- That's simply not true. You're allowed to drink at almost all hotels in Qatar... And also at restaurants in a development called The Pearl... who knows how it will change by 2022.

Posted by: helthe | December 3, 2010 4:37 AM | Report abuse

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