Sports

Is the World Cup good for the host country? – World Cup 2022

“Giant pennants” from the World Cup countries decorate the facade of QatarGas, in Doha – Máquina do Esporte / Publicity

To inaugurate this season of Diário da Copa for the Sport Machine, I pose a question worth a few billion dollars: if you were the highest authority in your country when it came to competing as a possible host of the World Cup, would you give the green light or not even consider that possibility? Ah, let’s disregard vested interests, agreed?

Starting with the economic side: here in Qatar, the transformation that the country has experienced in recent years is impressive. Subways were built, neighborhoods remodeled, modern skyscrapers erected, the streets and parks are untouched and even a new city (Lusail) was built from scratch. I heard from a member of the Organizing Committee that money to make stadiums with air conditioning would not be a problem, it would be enough to open the oil tap a little more and the bill would be paid. If the return on investment (ROI) is not the main factor, injecting that big money into the economy and into the event allowed Doha to approach Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, as one of the most modern cities in the region.

Speaking of modernity, let’s go to the social aspect. The 2022 World Cup has been under attack for its inability to offer a welcoming environment to those who want to drink their beer, show affection in public or raise flags related to causes. Putting these three points under a historical eye, none of these freedoms in a traditional Muslim country compares to the Brazilian one, but there have been advances on all fronts.

InBev is selling less than it sold in Russia in 2018 or will sell in the US in 2026, but there are WhatsApp lists of where to find beer for anyone who wants it. As I drove around Doha, I could see tourists fraternizing, and certainly many couples kissed in stadiums when goals were scored by their national teams. Social causes are present with more force than usual, and important flags made local and international organizers need to position themselves on working conditions, human rights and freedom of expression.

catar 2022 in loco
Qatar is the first country in the Middle East to host an edition of the World Cup – Máquina do Esporte / Publicity

Will everything remain the same after the World Cup, or will the scenery just get prettier while the international press is watching? Difficult to answer, but I would use the example of the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. In Brazil, protests took place and the threats of “there will be no World Cup” ended with Brazil x Croatia, the opening game of that World Cup. In Russia, there was a fear of terrorist attacks, but everything went quite smoothly. As a ruler, I would answer: if money is not an issue, let’s go ahead.

Around here, I wouldn’t bet on a sporting legacy, but a good part of the investment in the city will remain, with millions of people benefiting. On the social side, I believe that the local sheikhs will realize that the movement to become a more modern and inclusive country can be a good business. The friendly smiles of the local people even now make me bet on that.

Campaign "Do Rei ao Rayo", by Semp TCL, features Pelé and Rodrygo as protagonists - 2022 Cup

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Government creates group to implement Observatory of Rural Wom CFM will open public consultation on the use of medical cannabis know where to watch the classic Vehicle group makes sabbath with Bolsonaro this Friday Germany approves €200bn energy crisis fund Government launches Renew Fleet +Green initiative Government creates collegiate to encourage women in Brazilian Ibovespa closes higher; dollar drops more than 1% MPT ask Saul Klein for compensation of R$ 80 million Former Trump aide sentenced to 4 months in prison for contempt