Op-Ed: Put an asterisk on the Qatar World Cup bid. They’re playing for it already – they have no idea how to play the game.
On April 14, 2017, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, gave his formal consent (“preliminary approval”) to the Qatari bid for the 2022 World Cup. After all, a bid to host the Cup must be approved by FIFA, the sport’s governing association. In a formal letter to FIFA, Al-Thani says he “welcomes the FIFA Executive Committee’s invitation to Qatar to take part in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.” For all intents and purposes, that is exactly what FIFA did.
It would have been easier if the Qatar bid was a bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but given the ongoing, escalating, and quite possibly self-inflicted crises in the country, this bid actually represents the third major attempt to host the 2022 tournament, in a long, long history of failed international tournaments.
In 1976 and 1980, a bid was made for the 1986 World Cup and the bid was successful. But because of the Gulf War, the tournament was cancelled, and Qatar was forced to play out the year without even having had the honor of hosting a World Cup at all. In 1986, the U.S. finally decided the World Cup was not for the United States, and the tournament was cancelled, and Qatar was forced to play out the year without even having had the honor of hosting a World Cup at all.
In 1998 and 2002, bids were made for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, respectively. But each time, the U.S. didn’t want to bid, because of the financial commitments and hosting costs. So, the tournament was awarded to Spain.
In 2010, Qatar made an unsuccessful bid for the 2010 World Cup. But, in 2011, Qatar made a successful bid, and the World Cup went to Qatar, a country with no history of international sporting glory. Two years later, in 2013, Qatar made another bid, and this time, the Qatari bid was successful. Three years later, in 2015, Qatar made yet another bid, and this time, the Qatari bid was successful.
So, after seven attempts to host three major international tournaments, Qatar did finally hold it’s first World Cup. It wasn�