Football Feature: Is Qatar ready to host the World Cup in November 2022?
The 2022 World Cup will commence in November this year in Qatar, a small country that acquired the rights to host the tournament 12 years ago
The tiny Gulf state of Qatar has constructed expansive stadiums besides improving the overall infrastructure so that fans could attend the four-week competition.
Is Qatar ready to accommodate football's biggest tournament in the world?
Many concerns are generally raised when the venue for a big-ticket event is decided. As the opening game between Qatar and Ecuador is around two months away, some critical observations were made about the 32-team tournament.
Seven new stadiums were built to host the World Cup in the country. The 80,000-capacity Lusail Iconic Stadium, which featured a friendly between Egypt's Zamalek and Al-Ahly of Saudi Arabia, will serve as the venue for the World Cup final on December 18, 2022.
Although the aesthetics are remarkable, the venue might lack fan amenities and general comfort. As reported, some stadiums are also not conveniently located with no access to hotels, shops or cafes.
In addition, Lusail was sanctioned a five-year project to build hotels, restaurants, shops and apartments, which will take years to complete. The World Cup will reportedly attract 1.3 million fans to visit Qatar during the tournament, but the stadiums will not be able to accommodate all of them.
Moreover, 80% of hotel rooms in Doha have been reserved for the Supreme Committee and FIFA for teams and officials, although 20,000 rooms will be available in the month before the tournament.
There will be tented campsites in place, although the conditions are unknown.
Will Qatar be safe to host a World Cup?
The World Cup 2022 will be backed up by a tight security system that includes security forces, expertise, and personnel from neighbouring countries.
The security structure contains:
- A NASA-style control centre.
- Two thousand security cameras to inspect crowd flow.
- Artificial intelligence programs.
Is Qatar a feasible venue for the World Cup 2022?
Although fingers have been raised about the country's capacity to host a World Cup, Qatar has been working tirelessly to erase its shortcomings as the host.
The unavailability of proper accommodation could still pose serious issues. However, reports also state that the country will make last-minute adjustments to meet the requirements, a mindset that FIFA has criticised.
However, the facilities are still expected to be world-class, and the soothing climate should provide perfect conditions for football. It remains to be seen whether a small country like Qatar would manage to handle an endless flow of fans from all corners of the world.