Sunday, December 5, 2010

Longshot Qatar to Host 2022 World Cup

Considered a long shot when it first announced its bid, Qatar is now set to host the 2022 World Cup -- and seemingly has the money to make it work.

Qatar is promising to spend $42.9 billion on infrastructure upgrades and $4 billion to build nine stadiums and renovate three others. All those stadiums, Qatar says, will have a state-of-the art cooling system that will keep temperatures about 27 degrees C (81 degrees F). Similar cooling systems will be used at training sites and even fan zones.

It also made a strong argument for the legacy of the tournament, since it would be the first time the event is held in the Middle East. Blatter seemed to be taken by that when he visited Doha earlier this year, saying the region deserved to host a tournament.

The region has the demographics that any sports federation covets: nearly half the population of the Gulf is under 30 years old. Qatar also brings a powerful media ally as the patron of the Al-Jazeera network, which reaches nearly the entire Arabic-speaking world.

Qatar: From longshot to 2022 World Cup host
Sports Illustrated
December 2, 2010