The World Cup In The Middle East


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The Middle East is a split region of commotion and conflict. However, it seems that the population of the region has a common interest: soccer. Recent polls have shown that 58% of respondents say that they regularly follow soccer. Even with this high following of the game, the region has not performed well in the game’s biggest stage, the World Cup. Over the past summer, at the 2014 World Cup, the Middle East had only one team qualify for the event, Iran. Iran finished last in their group with zero wins, one tie and two loses. Despite the poor showing, the region has not lost interest in the sport.

Controversially, the World Cup is set to take stage in Qatar in 2022. Many people are in uproar over this because of multiple reasons. One, they believe that billionaire, Mohammad bin Hammam, paid millions in bribes for Qatar to get the bid. FIFA is investigating this but has not yet found crucial evidence for this matter. Two, the summer temperatures in Qatar are up to near 110 degrees. Many trainers have showed concern for the health of the players playing in this high heat. To battle this Qatar has proposed building air-conditioned soccer stadiums that could regulate the heat and ensure the safety of the players. Three, they believe that Qatar does not have a big enough population to facilitate the tournament being held there. And four, people are concerned for the well being of the 1.7 million “guest workers” in Qatar that would be building the stadiums. Qatar has a bad reputation of how they treat these guest workers and it is believed that this would only worsen since they have to build all these stadiums from scratch.

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I believe that holding the World Cup in the Middle East would be in the best interest of FIFA and the Middle East. For FIFA, this would give the soccer-crazed people of the region, where there are only a few professional soccer leagues, a chance to spectate the “world’s sport.” For the Middle East, it will bring money into the economy, bring positive attention to the region and just maybe bring the people of the Middle East together.

But Is Qatar the right place?

I do not think that it is looking very good for Qatar in 2022. With FIFA heavily investigating foul play in the bid process, the chances of Qatar losing the World Cup bid seem very likely. However, stripping the whole region from holding soccer’s biggest tournament would not be fair. I think FIFA, if they were to withdraw from Qatar in 2022 should find a different location in the very deserving region of the Middle East.

References

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101758568

http://www.smg-insight.com/popularly-followed-sports-and-sports-events-in-middle-east-and-north-africa/

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3 thoughts on “The World Cup In The Middle East

  1. Coming from Cleveland, Ohio, home of the Cleveland Browns, I understand how one can love and support a sports team that has never claimed a title of any sort in some time. I do agree that by bringing the world cup to the Middle East will help the economy by providing jobs, tourism and positive to publicity. The allegations that Mohammad bin Hammam paid millions in bribes for Qatar to get the bid, have not yet been verified and even so the people of the Middle East should not be punished for his actions.

  2. I think it would be great for the Middle East to host the World Cup but I agree that Qatar may not be the right place. I like the opening statement you made saying that even through all the conflict in the Middle East soccer is a common ground. Many people only look at the differences and it’s refreshing to see someone focus on a similarity.

  3. I like your opinion that FIFA should still have the World Cup in the Middle East though I agree that Qatar, for many reasons, is not the right host for it. I personally believe it isn’t a suitable time to have the World Cup in the Middle East but hopefully it will be possible in the future.

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