Post-Olympics: Spotlight Shifts To Qatar 2022 World Cup

Post-Olympics: Spotlight Shifts To Qatar 2022 World Cup 2
The official emblem of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is unveiled on a large display in Madrid on September 3, 2019. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

The focus of the sporting world shifts to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar following the Tokyo Olympics, with lingering questions over Covid security and human rights.

Unlike the Games, which performed out to a backdrop of surging case numbers in Tokyo and with out spectators to restrict viral transmission, organisers of the November 18-December 21, 2022, soccer event insist will probably be performed in full stadiums.

Qatar 2022 may be the primary really world sporting occasion with followers since coronavirus emerged in the beginning of 2020, if the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics goes forward behind closed doorways as an International Olympic Committee official has instructed.

Such is the dedication of the tiny, super-wealthy host emirate to stage a “normal” event that Doha has pledged to vaccinate travelling followers from nations the place the rollout of jabs has been slower.

“Whatever happens I expect we’ll have fans, including foreigners, in the stadiums,” stated Danyel Reiche, an affiliate professor at Georgetown University in Qatar.

“Qatar was a pioneer in developing concepts for sports during the pandemic and has staged many events.”

Qatar, the primary Middle Eastern host of the World Cup, was, together with Rwanda, an Olympics vaccine hub for athletes heading to Tokyo. It additionally hosted the refugee staff.

– Vaccines for followers –

Qatar has pledged to acquire a million doses of Covid vaccine for unvaccinated followers travelling to the Arabian desert peninsula nation.

Details of its event jab programme have but to be revealed, although 2022 organisers went to Tokyo to look at the precautions taken in the course of the Games.

“Tokyo has been a qualified success with… little overall dissent amongst those present about the restrictions in place,” stated Simon Chadwick, director of the Eurasian sports activities centre at France’s Emlyon Business School.

“Qatar would do well to follow and fine-tune the processes and procedures that have been in place during the Olympics. The big difference of course is the presence of spectators.”

With lower than 16 months left, the Gulf state is speckled with development websites and roadworks.

The nation’s ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, has acknowledged that the pandemic had brought on “a delay” to some infrastructure tasks “but it was a very limited delay”.

“Preparations… will all be complete in the coming months,” he stated of the event which officers hope will contribute round $20 billion to Qatar’s economic system.

Three of the eight World Cup stadiums, all airconditioned regardless of the event having been moved to the cooler winter months, are nonetheless beneath development.

Qatar’s multi-billion-dollar soccer infrastructure, a lot of it nonetheless untested, will bear a trial when it hosts the Arab Cup from November 30 to December 18.

As properly as guarantees that infrastructure can be prepared for the event, Qatar has repeatedly given assurances on its human and labour rights report.

In May, secret police arrested a Kenyan safety guard who had revealed articles on the plight of migrant staff within the nation which relies on expat labour.

He was charged with receiving cash from a international agent prompting an outcry from rights teams.

While campaigners have accused employers of exploitation, Qatar insists it has completed greater than any nation within the area to enhance the welfare of staff.

“The speed of change will not be enough to convince some critics,” stated Chadwick.

“There is (also) considerable dissent amongst conservatives within the Qatari government and society that the country has already been forced to change too much.”

– Rights and wrongs –

In February, Qatar fiercely denied stories in Britain’s Guardian newspaper of extreme employee fatalities, insisting the determine was unreliable however refusing to publish the precise quantity.

Some followers and commentators worry that Doha could not supply guests the identical expertise as previous tournaments.

“I’ve been to many DJs on beaches with thousands of people in Doha already in 2005 and 2006,” stated 2022 ambassador and former Netherlands worldwide Ronald De Boer, who lived in Doha for 5 years.

“Doha will be ready for this amount of fans, they can really hold big events. And don’t worry that you can’t drink a beer.”

While beer can be accessible in fan zones, eating places and inns, it’s doubtless that peculiar ticket-holders can be unable to drink inside stadiums, with alcohol confined to outdoors areas.

A choice has but to be made formally.

Those in premium hospitality suites will nonetheless have the ability to entry fully-stocked bars within reach of the pitch.

AFP

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Post-Olympics: Spotlight Shifts To Qatar 2022 World Cup

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