So the announcements for two upcoming World Cups were made last night, and all of people that annoyed you with the World Cup over the summer are really bent out of shape about it. Jeez, people. It’s not like you idiots are actually going to the games. But if you are, I feel really bad for you. The word of Russia being chosen as the 2018 host wasn’t a huge surprise, but the 2022 Cup going to Qatar (pronounced Kuh-TARR) blew everyone away.
Despite its enormous wealth, Qatar is still a largely closed society, and its rulers are gambling that the Cup can do for it what 2002 did for South Korea. At that event, the Korean public was forced to interact with a world it had deep misgivings about, and the result was a rousing success.
FIFA also sees the tremendous growth potential in the Muslim world and recognized soccer must engage it. The sport is the most popular in the Arab world, but the grassroots development of the sport has lagged far behind. Thursday’s announcement is sure to change that.
And it’s fun that “Quatar” is actually trending on Twitter. It’s really hard for us to drop that “u” from behind the “q,” apparently. Of course the Muslims have that figured out. Having all of that oil probably helps.